Iraqi parliament announces 33 presidential candidates

On February 7, Parliament failed to hold a session to vote on a new President due to disputes among parliamentary political bloc

Baghdad: Iraq’s Parliament or Council of Representatives has announced the names of 33 candidates for the presidential election scheduled for next week.

The candidates include incumbent President Barham Salih, who is running for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Kurdistan Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed Khalid, who is running for the Kurdistan Democratic Party; and Rizgar Mohammed Amin, former chief judge of the Iraqi Special Tribunal that organised the trial of late leader Saddam Hussein, Xinhua news agency reported citing Parliament as saying.

The candidate list also includes non-Kurdish candidates, unlike the power-sharing system that prevailed in Iraq after 2003 stipulating that the presidency should be reserved for the Kurds, the speaker for the Sunnis, and the Prime Minister for the Shias.

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Earlier on Tuesday, a statement by the media office of Parliament said that Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi held a meeting with his two deputies and heads of parliamentary blocs, in a bid to hold a session to elect the President at the end of the upcoming week, without specifying the exact date.

On February 7, Parliament failed to hold a session to vote on a new President due to disputes among parliamentary political blocs.

One day later, it decided to reopen the nomination for the post of President for three days.

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