Iraqi Parliament Elects Abdul Latif Rashid As New President

Photo: Iraqi Parliament Media Office/Handout [via Reuters]

The Facts

  • On Thursday, Iraqi lawmakers elected Kurdish politician Abdul Latif Rashid as the country's new president, reportedly garnering more than 160 votes against 99 for the incumbent Barham Salih in a run-off.

  • This comes after three failed attempts to elect a new president – which must be a Kurd according to Iraq's power-sharing political system– earlier this year as the Kurdish Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan couldn't agree on a joint candidate.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The election of Rashid and his immediate designation of al-Sudani to form a government marks the end of the long-lasting political deadlock in Iraq, which was caused by the Sadrist movement's undemocratic actions. There's still a long way to go, but Iraq is now on the right path to solving its problems.

Establishment-critical narrative

This election might resolve Iraq's political deadlock, but it likely won't be the solution needed to move away from Iraq's defunct political system. Evidence of this is seen in Rashid's first move as president with the immediate appointment of al-Sudani, which will only cause more unrest, and will do little to move away from Iraq's ethno-sectarian power-sharing system.

Establishment split



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