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Parliament elects Abdul Latif Rashid as President of Iraq


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The Independent/ - The parliament session, which was held today, Thursday, to elect a president of the republic, showed that the last hours' agreements to present a compromise candidate favored Abdul Latif Ahmed Rashid to win.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party had announced the withdrawal of its candidate, Riber Ahmed, and support for Abdul Latif Rashid's candidacy for the presidency, which found support from the Sovereignty Alliance and the State of Law bloc, which announced yesterday its welcome of the decision.


The first round of the presidential election resulted in Abdul Latif Rashid gaining 157 votes, compared to 99 votes for Barham Salih, while the other candidates did not receive significant votes.

While the second round showed that Abdul Latif Muhammad Rashid led with 162 votes, compared to 99 votes for Barham Salih, and 8 invalid cards appeared.

Thus, Abdul Latif Muhammad Jamal Rashid will be president of the Republic of Iraq, and he will work to assign the largest bloc the state framework by naming the person in charge of forming the new government, and he is the candidate for the coordination framework Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani.

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Today, Thursday, the caretaker Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, congratulated Abdul Latif Rashid on his election as President of the Republic.

Al-Kazemi said in a tweet on Twitter, which was followed by Alsumaria News: "We congratulate Dr. Abdul Latif Rashid on his election as President of the Republic of Iraq."

"We wish him success in his mission, and we call on all political forces to cooperate and provide support for him," he added.
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Iraq's new president Latif Rashid, veteran Kurdish politician


Iraq's new President Abdul Latif Rashid is a veteran Kurdish politician and former water minister with valuable experience in navigating the fractious politics of Baghdad.


Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid


The 78-year-old, British-educated hydraulic engineer, chosen by parliament on Thursday to replace Barham Saleh, also faces the task of mending ties between the central government and Iraq's Kurdish minority.

:excl: Rashid's first order of business is to nominate a prime minister to form a government to replace caretaker premier Mustafa al-Kadhemi, filling a year-long political vacuum since an October 2021 general election.

He had served as presidential adviser since 2010, after seven years as a minister.

"Rashid's strengths would be that he is no stranger to Baghdad," said political analyst Hamzeh Hadad, a visiting fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations.

Nothing "should be new to him, even if he will be a new face to younger Iraqis."

Hailing from Sulaimaniyah, a major city in northern Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdistan region, he speaks Kurdish, Arabic and English.

He served as water resources minister until 2010 -- experience that could be valuable for Iraq, ravaged by drought and considered the fifth-most vulnerable country to climate change, according to the United Nations.

Last-minute candidate


Since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, an informal arrangement holds that a Shiite Muslim becomes prime minister, a Sunni serves as parliament speaker and a Kurd holds the presidency.

The largely symbolic post of president had been held since 2018 by Saleh of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Rashid, also of the PUK but who ran for president as an independent, is close to the party's founder, Jalal Talabani.

While the pro-Iran Shiite Muslim bloc the Coordination Framework pushes to form a government, Rashid emerged in the last stretch of the presidential race.

Rashid became water resources minister in 2003, serving in the first government put in place following the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam.

His election comes at a time when rival Shiite factions are vying for influence in Baghdad.

In multi-faith, multi-ethnic Iraq, "he has a good standing with both Shiite and Sunni politicians", said a government official close to Rashid.

He is "respected" by the faction of influential Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, the official added.

He is also close to former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, a prominent figure in the Coordination Framework, which is powerful in parliament.

Water expert


Rashid will face the daunting task of breathing new life into fraught relations between the central government and the autonomous Kurdish region.

"Barham Saleh will have left a mark of being a charismatic president, but that did little to improve ties between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan," analyst Hadad said.

"If Latif Rashid is able to improve that, then that will overshadow anything his predecessor did."

Born in 1944, Rashid studied in Britain, earning degrees from Liverpool and Manchester, and obtained a doctorate in hydraulic engineering in 1976.

He returns to issues he dealt with as minister: disputes with neighbouring Turkey over sharing waters of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and the struggle to rescue the dried up marshes of southern Iraq, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A father of three, Rashid is keen on painting and opened a gallery in Sulaimaniyah in 2014, showcasing the works of local artists.

Edited by DWS112
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4 minutes ago, DWS112 said:

Maybe he will nominate Kadhemi ?

If the articles hold up he is not, he is nominating Sudani who was the compromise candidate from Maliki's coalition. Im of the opinion any seated gov is better than no seated gov but so far Id say this looks like Sadrs attempts at dramatic reforms were a waste of time. I dont think the gov holds the keys to whatever the cbi will do so as I said, any gov is better than a vacuum and civil war. 

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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Latif Rashid was voted in as Iraq’s new president on Thursday, setting in motion the country’s government formation process a year since parliamentary elections were held.

The Iraqi parliament finally reached the legal quorum needed to hold a session to elect the country’s next president, having previously failed to do so on three different occasions since the election of the legislative body over a year ago.

Rashid, Iraq’s former water resources minister and former Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) official, bested former President Barham Salih in a lengthy vote, after 162 MPs of the legislature casted their ballots in his favor as opposed to Salih’s 99.

Born in Sulaimani in 1944, Rashid began his political career in the 1960’s when he became an active member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). He had an essential role in the PUK since its formation in 1975.

Rashid was appointed Iraq’s minister of water resources in 2003, and held the position up to December 2010. Since 2010, he has been the senior advisor to the president of Iraq.

Kurdish and Iraqi leaders, including Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi, former President Salih, Kurdistan Region's PM Masrour Barzani, and the Region's President Nechirvan Barzani extended their congratulations to the new Iraqi president following his election.

The elected president later tasked Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani, the Coordination Framework’s candidate, with the Iraqi prime minister position and in charge of forming the council of ministers. Sudani will have 30 days to name all ministers of his cabinet, or risk losing the position if he fails to do so.

Born in 1970, Sudani entered politics from a young age, especially after the killing of his father by Saddam Hussein’s Baath regime in 1980 due to his affiliation with the Islamic Dawa Party. He participated in the 1991 anti-regime Shaaban uprising for three years.

Sudani has filled a number of high-rank positions since 2003, including being the governor of Maysan province from 2009 to 2010, the minister of human rights from 2010 to 2014, acting minister of agriculture in 2013, and acting minister of finance in 2014, and his latest ministerial position was in the ministry of labor and social affairs from 2014 to 2018.
Nation-wide anti-corruption protests in Iraq resulted in early parliamentary elections in October 2021. Nonetheless, the elected legislature was unable to form the country’s next government for over a year due to continued disagreements between the political blocs over the mechanisms of its formation. 
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Al-Kazemi congratulates Al-Sudani on his appointment as head of the Iraqi government

Today, Thursday, the caretaker Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, congratulated Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani for assigning him the tasks of forming the new Iraqi government.

Al-Kazemi said in a tweet on Twitter, "We congratulate Brother Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani for assigning him to form the new Iraqi government."

He added, "We call on all political forces to cooperate and integrate, wishing him success in the task of forming the government, in order to achieve the aspirations of our honorable people."


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