Iraqi Kurds agree on Fuad Masum for president
The main Kurdish blocs in Iraqi parliament have agreed on the candidacy of the veteran politician Fuad Masum for the country's next president.
The Kurdish parliamentarians nominated Masum at a closed door meeting in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Wednesday.
"Fuad Masum is the only candidate of the Kurdish blocs for the position of president," a senior Kurdish official said.
Based on the power-sharing agreement in Iraq, the position of federal president goes to the Kurds.
Masum, who was born in 1938 and became the first prime minister of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in 1992, has managed to edge his rival former Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh during a vote by Kurdish MPs.
He will replace Jalal Talabani when parliament votes on the issue on Thursday.
Masum is also a member of Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party.
The selection of a new president is the next step in the formation of a new government. Last week, Iraq's parliament elected Salim al-Jabouri as the speaker.