President of the Republic of Iraq: Competing Criteria

After the election of the Iraqi parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbusi, the people’s representatives will have to select the president of the republic who will ask the largest political bloc to present the full cabinet within 15 days according to the Iraqi constitution.

Since 2005, there has been a political tradition in which the positions of parliament speaker, the presidency, and the premiership are distributed among political parties based on an ethno-sectarian quota. Consequently, the Kurds run the presidency, the Sunnis administer the parliament, and the Shia appoint the prime minister. This package of posts has always been identified through political consensus. This time however, the situation is more complicated than before due to the outcomes of the May 12 election that did not give any party any significant leverage over others because of the relatively close number of seats.

The ball is now in the court of the Kurds. The Kurds must come to the Iraqi parliament as a united bloc and present one candidate, who needs two thirds of the votes. However, the Kurds are presently divided and have a fierce competition going on between the mover of the political spoils of the election. The two biggest parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are currently facing each other off in order to nominate the president.

Since the liberation of Iraq from the Ba’ath regime in 2003, the Kurds have agreed to grant the KDP the presidency of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and some other sovereign ministries in the federal government, while the PUK is given the presidency of Iraq and the right to manage the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The PUK has now nominated Mr. Barham Salih for the presidency of Iraq, with the assurance that there is an Iranian-American acceptance of their candidate. Party members say that he has returned to the PUK based on the request of the Iranians. They also confirm that the visit of Brett McGurk, the American presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh, to the PUK leaders in Sulaymaniyah city came to give the green light to Mr. Salih’s nomination.

The KDP is momentarily seeking to change the equation for dividing the Kurdish posts. Back in 2017, the post of the president of the Kurdistan Region was abolished. Furthermore, they got 26 parliamentary seats while the PUK has only gained 16 in the recent election. According to the KDP, this changes the equation, and their leaders are stating that they now have the right to decide who will be the president of Iraq and who will be the governor of Kirkuk. Hence, they rejected Mr. Salih’s nomination and submitted their own candidate for the Iraqi presidency: Mr. Fuad Hussien. The PUK on the other hand insists that all Kurds must remain faithful to the agreements of 2005, and it considers the KDP’s calls as a bloodless coup against the PUK’s interests, and contra to Kurdish unity.

The Shi’i blocs of Sa’iroon and al-Fatih have the power to determine the fate of the presidency. Both blocs tend to favor any nominee who did not support the Kurdish referendum on independence held in September 2017, welcomed the peaceful return of the federal forces to Kirkuk, is willing to execute the constitution, and who will protect the unity of Iraq. All these qualities are available in the nominee of the PUK, Barham Salih, who had been the prime minister of Kurdistan region 2001-2004, and served as Iraq’s deputy prime minister in 2006. One month after the referendum, Mr. Salih stated: “The decision (of the referendum) was taken by one person, Massoud Barzani, but was provoked by several corrupt politicians in order to preserve their money and pursue their theft, while allowing the lack of economic stability and international allies worthy of trust.”

The KDP is well aware of the truth mentioned above. Therefore, the prime minister of Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani paid a visit to Baghdad and Najaf to persuade the Shi’i leaders to postpone the vote on the Kurdish nominees until after the Kurdistan election that will be held on September 30. Constitutionally, it is an acceptable request as the deadline for selecting the president of the state will be on October 2, according to Article 72/ Second/ B of the Iraqi constitution.

The Shi’i parties however do not like to be part of inter-Kurdish disputes. While they prefer Mr. Salih, they understand that if they lose their relations with the KDP, they would face a real problem with a US-backed party that is playing an active role in Kurdish politics. Thus, they chose to be neutral in their position. They gave Kurdish sides an opportunity to solve their problems in their region, and encouraged them to agree on only one nominee who can be accepted by the other political players. Implicitly, they pointed out to Barzani that the Kurds must strengthen Barham Salih’s chances in this political bargain, or at least suggest another nominee who has the same characteristics as Salih. Therefore, the parliamentary session of September 25 did not include the vote on the post of Iraq’s presidency.

In sum, the Shi’i forces will not uphold the next Iraqi president if he was part of the team that had called for the Kurdish separation from Iraq. Therefore, the KDP has no choice but to negotiate with the PUK in order to present a nationalistic, moderate, and non-racist politician as nominee for president. Otherwise, the Kurdish parties, especially the KDP, will be in a real stalemate. The alternative will be the election of an independent Kurdish nominee, such as Mrs. Srwa Abdul-Wahid, who is well qualified for the post and close to the Shia in terms of political views.

Diyari Salih


Diyari Salih is an Iraqi academic with a PhD in Political Geography, Baghdad and a Post-Doctorate in International Relations, Warsaw,


Saaroun confirms his support for (Barham Saleh) in the presidency of the Republic


TopNews0 clerk

Baghdad / All news

The alliance of Sawsan, which has the support of the leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr yesterday, he will support Barham Saleh candidate for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to take over the presidency of the Republic. The MP from the coalition Ayman al-Shammari said in a press statement that “Barham Saleh has great admissibility in the coalition of reform and construction for his position The Presidency of the Republic, “pointing out that” Barham Saleh asked Sadr during the meeting, which brought together the parties in Najaf support for the presidency of the Republic. “He added that” the conditions put forward by the religious authority and the government program put by the axis of reform achieved in the character of Barham Saleh, “noting that “The position of the Union N separation and the referendum is tough helped lift the fortunes of their candidate to get the presidency of the republic. “He continued that” coalitions of reform and construction would agree with each other to support Barham Salih, to assume the presidency by voting for him in the next session of the Council devoted to the selection of the President of the Republic of Representatives. “

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The US ambassador confirms his country’s full support for the stability of Iraq


Release Date: 2018/9/27 21:40 
[Ayna – Baghdad] 
Secretary General of the Civil Society for Reform, Salim Jubouri, in his office with the US ambassador in Baghdad, Douglas Slimian, the latest developments on the Iraqi arena and the efforts of the political blocs to form a government.
“The importance of consolidating Iraq’s relations with its regional and international environment in order to enhance joint cooperation and achieve stability in Iraq and the region and support investment and reconstruction to promote the economic reality of the country,” Jubouri said. 
For his part, the US ambassador in Baghdad, the US administration confirmed its full support for the stability of Iraq at all levels.

Yassin: The custom imposes on us the election of Barham Saleh for the presidency of the Republic of Iraq


09:10 – 27/09/2018

Baghdad, Mawazine News  
A member of the House of Representatives, Asaad Yassin, on Thursday, that the custom imposed on the majority of MPs to elect Barham Saleh for the presidency of the Republic of Iraq .. 

Yassin told the “Mawazin News /” that the Shiite blocs in the House of Representatives waiting for the approval of my list, Kurdistan and the Democratic one candidate for the post of President of the Republic, “asserting that” the Shiite deputies have taken a decision to support Barham Saleh for the position in the event of failure of the Kurdish lists to choose a unified candidate. ” 

The member of the House of Representatives, that “the constitutional custom requires us to elect the candidate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, because of the victory of the candidate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Bashir Haddad, the post of deputy speaker of parliament.” 

And Yassin, that “the candidate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Fouad Hussein, far from the position, being the first godfather of the draft referendum, which aims to divide Iraq.

Sheikh Delir: the political blocs settled their order to elect Barham Saleh to the presidency of Iraq


08:14 – 27/09/2018

BAGHDAD-Mawazin News The 
leadership of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Rezan Sheikh Delir, confirmed Thursday, the political blocs decided to elect Barham Saleh to the presidency of Iraq. 
“Barham Saleh will be a republican president and will carry the aspirations and aspirations of all Iraqis in all their various spheres,” Sheikh Diller said in a statement received by Mawazine News. 
She stressed that “the political blocs in the House of Representatives towards resolving the matter about the election of Saleh for the presidency of Iraq in all transparency and freedom away from the language of consensus and political deals because it sees the closest and more understanding of the details of the Iraqi political scene,” noting that “enjoys regional relations and international excellence will enable him to open the prospects of the task In favor of Iraqi politics and achieve the principle of cooperation on the basis of common interests. “
“All deputies have the independence of the decision during the election for the post of president because this means the presence of an effective parliament and a real representative of the Iraqi people,” she said. Finished 29 / d

Urgent Security: Congressional Foreign Affairs approves bill to deal with “Iranian interference” in Iraq


Urgent: Congressional Foreign Affairs approves bill to deal with "Iranian interference" in Iraq
 Twilight News    
 51 minutes ago

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress approved a bill to deal with Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs.

“The document enables the US authorities to charge Iran and its militias with responsibility for their deadly activities in Iraq,” said Bill Roiss, head of the commission.

He said that these militias represent a threat to the Iraqi people and the interests of the United States in Iraq, where “its elements fired mortars at the US Embassy in Baghdad, earlier this month.”

Abadi and Hakim discuss the formation of the government and the completion of constitutional entitlements


Editorial Date: 2018/9/27 18:29 
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi discussed with the President of the National Alliance Ammar al-Hakim, the general situation in the country and talks on the formation of the government and the importance of completing the remaining constitutional benefits to maintain political stability in the country.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister received the agency of all Iraq [where] a copy of him that Abadi stressed during the meeting that “there are achievements during the past period in various fields and it is very important to maintain and support and be the next government for construction and reconstruction and job opportunities and maintain security stability.”

Sawsan: the position of the Union of the referendum of Kurdistan raised the fortunes of Barham Saleh to take over the presidency of the Republic

03:46 – 27/09/2018

Private – Mawazine News

The alliance of the Sadrists led by Moqtada al-Sadr, on Thursday, the position of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan from the referendum secession of Kurdistan raised the fortunes of their candidate for the presidency of Barham Saleh to take office.

The leader of the Sawnon Ayman al-Shammari said in an interview for “Al-Mawazin News” that “his alliance will support Barham Saleh candidate for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to take over the presidency of the Republic.”

“Barham Salih has great acceptance in the reform and building blocs for his position as president,” he said, noting that “the position of the Union of secession and the non-partisan referendum helped raise the chances of their candidate to obtain the presidency of the republic.”

He pointed out that “Barham Saleh asked Sadr during their meeting in Najaf with his support to take over the post.”,15700022,15700124,15700126,15700149,15700186,15700190,15700201,15700214&usg=ALkJrhhOEeok31y7zz0FpSFLE0gZcnyaJA

Abadi assured a Kurdish delegation the importance of uniting efforts to form the next government

Journal News

The current Prime Minister Haider Abadi, the candidate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to the presidency Barham Salih, on Thursday, the importance of uniting efforts to form the next government and abide by constitutional times.

The Office of Information Abadi said in a statement that “Abadi received the delegation of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Barham Saleh, and during the meeting discussed the political situation and the formation of the next government and constitutional entitlements represented by the election of the President of the Republic.

The statement added that “the importance of unifying efforts to form the next government in order to serve the citizens and move forward in building and reconstruction, providing job opportunities and maintaining achievements in the field of combating terrorism, security stability, foreign relations and other aspects, .

Massoud Barzani reveals the size of his wealth: I am the richest man in the world

Massoud Barzani reveals the size of his wealth: I am the richest man in the world
 11 minutes ago

The leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Massoud Barzani, said he was “the richest man in the world” after addressing his wealth and responding to reports he estimated to have billions of dollars. 
“Some say Barzani’s wealth is 48 billion dollars, but they do not know that I am the richest man in the world,” he said in a speech to a large crowd of his supporters in Dohuk. 
A Saudi newspaper report said Barzani had a $ 48 billion fortune, but returned and apologized and said its information was inaccurate. 
“My fortune is said to be $ 48 billion, but unfortunately this is not true. If I had this amount, a lot of things would have changed,” Barzani said at the time.

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