Baghdad: After months of bargaining, negotiations, verbal battles, and overt and secret deals, Abdul Latif Rashid on Thursday elected as President of the Republic of Iraq, succeeding President Barham Salih.
In the first round of voting in the Iraqi parliament, Rashid received 157 votes against 99 votes for his rival, Saleh, and none of the candidates received two-thirds of the votes, as a condition for winning the position as required by the law of the Council, which necessitated a second round of voting, where Rashid received 162 votes against 99.
Following the two voting sessions, Rashid was sworn in as President of the Republic of Iraq, to be the fourth president of the country since the US invasion.
Rashid took his oath as the country’s president on his official Twitter account, “I swear by God, the Most High, the Great, to perform my legal duties and responsibilities with dedication and sincerity, to preserve Iraq’s independence and sovereignty, to look after the interests of its people, to ensure the safety of its land, sky, water, wealth, and federal democratic system, and to work to preserve public and private freedoms.” The independence of the judiciary and commitment to implementing the legislation honestly and impartially, and God is a witness to what I say.”
Rashid’s election came after the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Masoud Barzani, agreed to withdraw its candidate, the Kurdistan Regional Minister of Interior, Reber Ahmed, from the presidential race.
Congratulates Abdul Latif Rashid on winning
Iraqi President Barham Salih congratulated his successor by saying, ” I was honored to be appointed as the President of the Republic of Iraq, and I committed myself persistently to proceeding under the roof of patriotism in the path of my tasks and supporting the path of reform for the sake of a capable country serving its citizens, and I will remain committed to these principles.”
He added, “With affection and respect, I congratulate the elected President of the Republic, Mr. Abdul Latif Rashid, wishing him success in his work.”
For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said, “We congratulate our brother, Dr. Abdul Latif Rashid, on his election as President of the Republic of Iraq, and we wish him success in his mission, and we call on all political forces to cooperate and provide him with support.”
Who is Abdul Latif Rashid?
Abdul Latif Rashid, born in Sulaymaniyah in 1944, is considered one of the cadres of the old Kurdish political work in Iraq since the seventies of the last century.
He worked in the Kurdistan Democratic Party in its beginnings and then in several Kurdish student activities in Europe.
Rashid holds a BA in Civil Engineering from the University of Liverpool in 1968 and a PhD in Engineering from the University of Manchester in 1976.
He worked in the field of teaching at the University of Sulaymaniyah until 1979, then a researcher in the field of irrigation and development in Saudi Arabia for three years, before heading to work in Somalia as part of an agricultural development project in 1981, and then to Kuwait within the International Food Organization project to support Yemen.
Abdul Latif Rashid took over the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources from 2003 until the end of 2010, and in December 2010 he was appointed Senior Adviser to the President of the Republic of Iraq.
During his years as an advisor in the Presidency of the Republic, the new Iraqi president tried to develop universities and the scientific reality in general in the country, in addition to supporting organizations in the field of spreading awareness and culture within Iraqi society.
Rashid is fluent in Arabic, Kurdish, Persian and English.
Rashid is described as a voracious reader of Arabic literature, especially Egyptian, and he enjoys a good language of speech, similar to former President Barham Salih.