A year and three days after Iraq’s October 2021 elections, the country finally has a new president and a nominee for the post of prime minister (MEES, 15 October 2021). The 368 days it took for Iraq’s political factions to end the impasse brought the country to the brink of civil war (MEES, 2 September) and left its institutions unable to invest the past year’s oil windfall.

A 13 October parliamentary session saw 269 MPs – more than the two thirds needed for a quorum – voting over two rounds to elect a new president. The winner with 162 votes was former minister of water resources Latif Rashid, a veteran of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). MEES previously reported that Mr Rashid was being discussed as a compromise candidate (MEES, 29 July). The PUK’s official nominee, incumbent president Barham Salih, secured just 99 votes in the second round. (CONTINUED - 1278 WORDS)