Iraq Delays Vote on President, Failing to Agree on a Candidate

Kurds are fielding multiple candidates

As Iraq tries to advance on from May’s election to forming a government, the next step is the selection of a president. This was supposed to happen Monday, but has been delayed, as a candidate has yet to be agreed on.

The Iraqi President is supposed to be a simple part of the process, as it is a position reserved for a Kurd, and in the past the Kurds just picked who they wanted. This time, the Kurds are pushing several candidates, and the parliament can’t settle on any of them.

The two most likely candidates are Barham Salih, the former Kurdistan PM, and Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of a former president. Both have met with the major Shi’ite coalitions and gotten some support, but it’s not clear either has enough.

It still isn’t clear which parties have the majority within parliament, as two different coalitions claimed such a position, but the slow process shows it isn’t cut and dry. Once a president is settled on, they will charge one of the major parties with taking the first crack at forming a coalition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of