World Bulletin / News Desk
Veteran Iraqi Kurdish politician Fuad Masum has officially been annouced as Iraq’s new president after the main Kurdish blocs in parliament agreed on his candidacy on Thursday.
Masum edged his rival Barham Saleh during a vote Kurdish MPs held behind closed doors in a Baghdad hotel, securing the position of federal president, which according to agreements is designated to the Iraqi Kurdish community.
76-year-old Fuad Masum, who also served as the first prime minister of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan in 1992-1993, reportedly emerged as the only candidate of the Kurdish blocs.
The former Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party member will replace co-party member Jalal Talabani, who has been mostly unable to fulfill his presidential duties due to poor health conditions.
The absence of President Talabani left a power vacuum in the country which was filled by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was accused of ousting Sunni Muslims from the government to establish a Shiite Muslim regime.
The growing discontent in the Sunni Muslim regions had led a number of Sunni Arab tribes in northern Iraq to pledge their allegiance to the Al Qaeda breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who have declared an independent state after capturing Iraq's second largest city Mosul on June 10.Last Mod: 24 Temmuz 2014, 17:19