Iraqi parliament announces 25 candidates to run for president

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The Iraqi Council of Representatives (Parliament) announced on Monday the names of 25 candidates for the presidential election scheduled for February 7.

   According to a statement by the parliament, the candidates include incumbent president Barham Salih, who is running for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, former Foreign Minister and Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who is running for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Rizgar Mohammed Amin, former Chief Judge of the Iraqi Special Tribunal that prosecuted former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

   The list also includes names of 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 Shiites.

   On January 27, the Iraqi parliament decided to hold a new session on February 7 to elect the country’s president.

   According to the Iraqi constitution, lawmakers should elect a new Iraqi president from the candidates by a two-thirds majority of its members, and the president will be limited to serve two four-year terms.

   Once elected, the new president will ask the largest parliamentary alliance to name a prime minister-designate to form a government within 30 days.

   On October 10, 2021, Iraq held the fifth parliamentary election with Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr becoming the biggest winner with 73 out of 329 seats. 

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