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 US-led invasion, Iraq's presidency is held by a Kurd while the prime minister is Shiite and the parliamentary speaker is Sunni.
Iraq's politicians have been in deadlock over forming a new government since an election in April. The next step, choosing a prime minister, may prove far more difficult.
Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has ruled since the election in a caretaker capacity, defying demands from the Sunnis and Kurds that he step aside for a less divisive figure.
(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)
Date created : 2014-07-24