Iraq: Kurdish politician Massoum named president

July 24, 2014

BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum has been named the new president of Iraq following a parliamentary vote.

Massoum, 76, is one of the founders of current President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party. He is considered a soft-spoken moderate, known for keeping good relations with Sunni and Shiite Arab politicians.

The vote for president — a largely ceremonial post — was delayed for a day when the Kurdish bloc requested more time to select a candidate. They named Massoum as their pick late Wednesday. Under an unofficial agreement dating back to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq’s presidency is held by a Kurd while the prime minister is Shiite and the parliamentary speaker is Sunni.

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