Iraqi parliament convenes to elect new president
Iraq’s parliament is set to vote on a new president Wednesday, Associated Press (AP) reports. This parliamentary session convenes as violence continues to sweep the country.
Iraqi lawmakers have struggled to choose a new president and a new prime minister. According to an agreement reached in 2003, Iraq’s political parties have agreed to elect a Kurd as president, a Shiite as prime minister, and a Sunni as speaker of parliament.
According to AP, the front-runners for president are former Deputy Prime Minsiter Barham Saleh and the Kirkuk provincial governor Najimaldin Karim.
Once the new government is formed, it must decide how to combat the threat of Sunni extremism that has forced thousands to flee. The extremist group the Islamic State, which took over large swathes of Iraq in June, has carried out numerous bombings and seeks to control all of Iraq.