Salih promises to maintain Iraq’s unity, deepen democracy

Iraqi President Barham Salih

Baghdad ( – Iraq’s new president Barham Salih has pledged to maintain Iraq’s unity and stability and to work on deepening democracy in the country.

“I will maintain the unity and stability of Iraq… It is an honor to be elected as president of the Republic of Iraq,” Iraqi website Baghdad Today quoted Salih as saying at the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.

The newly-elected president stressed that the Iraqi people “absolutely deserve all efforts to be provided with services.”

“The parliament has obviously reflected its members’ free will via electing a new president of the republic,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Salih was elected by the Iraqi parliament as new president after winning two—thirds of the parliamentary votes.

Salih’s sole challenger Fuad Hussein withdrew from the presidential race ahead of the second round but the parliament rejected his request.

Under the Iraqi constitution, Salih should invite the nominee of the largest parliamentary bloc to form a government within a period of 15 days. The prime minister-designate would have 30 days to form a cabinet and present it to parliament for approval.

Iraqi politicians have been in a deadlock over the formation of a new government since an election in May.

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