Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Iraq’s President Takes Office, Independent Tapped as PM

Iraq’s President Takes Office,  Independent Tapped as PM

BAGHDAD — A veteran Kurdish politician assumed office on Wednesday as Iraq’s new president after tapping an independent Shiite politician for the post of prime minister, ending nearly five months of political deadlock.
Barham Salih, 58, who previously served as Iraq’s planning minister and the prime minister of the self-ruled Kurdish region, was elected president by parliament and sworn in on Tuesday. He then tapped Adel Abdul-Mahdi, 76, an independent Shiite politician and former vice president, to form the next government.
Under an unofficial agreement dating back to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq’s presidency — a largely ceremonial role — is held by a Kurd, while the prime minister is Shiite and the parliament speaker is Sunni. Both Salih and Abdul-Mahdi are longstanding members of the political class that has dominated Iraqi politics since then.
On Wednesday, State TV broadcast a formal handover ceremony at the presidential palace in Baghdad’s Green Zone, where Salih was saluted by an honor guard and received by former President Fuad Masum.
Abdul-Mahdi emerged as a compromise candidate after two Shiite-led blocs each claimed to have majority support in parliament.  (AP)