Iraqi Parliament To Elect New President

Photo: Iraqi Parliament Handout [via AFP]

The Facts

  • Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbussi's office said on Tuesday that the country's parliament will meet this Thursday to elect a new president for the fourth time this year in an attempt to end months of political deadlock.

  • According to the power-sharing system in place to prevent sectarian conflict, Iraq's president must be of Kurdish origin and is chosen by ruling Kurdish parties - the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

The Spin

Narrative A

The KDP and the PUK should resolve their differences and find a compromise candidate as this dispute over the largely honorific post of Iraq's president has dragged the country into the ongoing political stalemate. By allying with opposing sides in the Iraqi parliament, they've only promoted divisions within the country, to the detriment of the Kurdish people.

Narrative B

Kurdish parties have been able to achieve a better understanding through dialogue, but there's no reason for factions to give up candidacy for the country's presidential position. It's not the Kurds who are creating this political impasse in Iraq, but internal disputes within the Shia that have been preventing Iraq from forming a new government.

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