Iraqi parliament elects Abdul Latif Rashid as new president
The Iraqi parliament on Thursday elected Kurdish former minister Abdul Latif Rashid to be the country's next president, AP reported.
Why it matters: The vote was a sign of progress after a year of deep political deadlock that prevented the formation of a new government, AP reported. It took place shortly after rockets rained down on Baghdad's Green Zone and injured at least five people.
- Latif won 162 votes out of 261 cast. Outgoing President Barham Salih received the remaining 99 votes.
- No group has yet taken responsibility for the rocket attacks, per the New York Times.
State of play: In accordance with Iraq's power-sharing political system, the presidency is reserved for Kurds, the prime minister is Shiite and the speaker of parliament is Sunni, per the Times.
- Latif served as water resources minister between 2003 and 2010.
- The Coordination Framework, an Iran-backed coalition of Shiite parties, named Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as the prime minister-designate.
- Al-Sudani, who was previously the country's human rights and labor minister, now has 30 days to propose to parliament his choices for the new cabinet, per the Times.
The big picture: Iraq held early elections in October 2021 but political deadlock, primarily among Shiite parties, prevented the formation of a new government and sparked worries of potential civil war.
- Deadly clashes erupted in Baghdad in August after an influential Shiite cleric announced that he was quitting politics.