ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi parliament on Monday announced they are now accepting nominees for the post of president—traditionally Kurdish-held—after the speaker and his two deputies were elected.
According to the constitution, the deadline to elect a person for the post will be on Oct. 02.
On Saturday, Iraqi lawmakers voted for Mohamed al-Halbousi, a 37-year-old engineer and former governor of Anbar province, as parliament speaker. The vote initiated the 90-day process to form a new federal government.
Following the election of the speaker, the traditionally-Shia first deputy post was given to the Sairoon list’s Hassan al-Kaabi. A day after an inconclusive vote for the second deputy, the KDP’s candidate, Bashir Hajji Haddad, was elected on Sunday.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which has held the presidency since 2005, is reportedly considering Mala Bakhtiyar and Latif Rashid as nominees, while the KDP has Fazil Mirani in mind. The Kurdistan Islamic Group also has their pick for the post, naming Salim Shoshkaii.
The KDP recently stated that based on the results of the May 12 parliamentary elections, the Iraqi president post should be awarded to them, or at least a candidate that has the party’s consent.
On Monday, Sardar Abdulla, an independent politician and former head of Gorran (Change) Movement in Iraq’s Parliament, revealed his intention to run for the Iraqi presidency.
Parliament is scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday to begin the election process for Iraq’s president. Following the vote, the new president will order the largest parliamentary bloc to present their candidate for prime minister, who will then be expected to form his cabinet, a process that could take months.
Kurdish factions in parliament, of which the largest bloc is an alliance between the KDP and PUK, are yet to side with the two major rival Shia coalitions. The Kurdish parties have repeatedly pointed out they will side with whoever agrees to their platform, which includes the constitutional and budgetary rights of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.
Editing by Nadia Riva
CORRECTION: a previous version of this article said Oct. 02 was the constitutional deadline to submit a name for the presidency.