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Barham Saleh elected as Iraq's President
October 3, 2018, 9:48 am

Iraq's parliament elected Barham Saleh as President of the Republic, during the second round of voting in which he beat Fuad Hussain on Tuesday.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party's candidate Barham Saleh won in the second round with 219 votes against 20 for his rival Hussain, a media source at parliament told KUNA on Tuesday.

After the first round of election, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) called for Hussain's withdrawal from the race, but the concerned committee rejected the request without the approval of the candidate. The voting was conducted, despite the withdrawal of members of the party.

Saleh was born in Sulaymaniyah of Kurdistan Region in 1960, and joined the PUK's ranks in 1976. Since 1980s, he has joined the PUK office in Europe and was responsible for its foreign relations in London.

He obtained a Bachelor's degree in Construction and Civil Engineering in 1983 from Britain's Carddif University. He attained a PHD degree in Statistics and Computer Applications in Engineering in 1987 from University of Liverpool in Britain.

Saleh was elected as a member of PUK at the party's first public congress in 1992, and was assigned to take charge of its office in the US. In 2001, he was assigned by the PUK's leadership to become prime minister of the Kurdistan Region Government from January 2001 until mid­2004.

In 2003, he became deputy prime minister in the interim Iraqi government, and minister of planning in mid2004 in the transitional government. Electing the country's leader settled an unprecedented difference among the Kurdish segments in the parliament over the post.

According to norms, the country's president is elected from Kurdish people. Selecting Saleh fulfils the second constitutional gains after the latest parliamentary polls: Parliament Speaker is Mohammad Al­Halbusi and the President is Saleh.

Saleh, according to the country's constitution, will ask the parliament presidency to assign the largest parliamentary bloc to candidate a figure to form the upcoming government. It seems that this is the largest obstacle in the march of achieving the constitutional gains amid a strong political competition between the two largest blocs at the parliament.

Source: KUNA

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