Iraq finally has a new president. Fouad Masoum, a 76-year-old Kurdish politician, has been elected to the post, following a deadlock over forming a new government since elections in April.
The appointment aims to create a new government to counter the Sunni insurgency in western Iraq, which has been under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) since the terrorist group took over Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and its surroundings, last month.
London-based Iraqi Chatham House associate fellow Hayder al-Khoei tweets:
Fouad Masoum won 211 votes in 2nd round of voting. He will be Iraq's next President.
— Hayder al-Khoei (@Hayder_alKhoei) July 24, 2014
Mustafa Kadhum, also based in London, explains:
Electing the kurdish politician Fouad Masoum as #Iraq president may ease political tension between Baghdad & kurdistan regional gov
— Mustafa Kadhum (@mustafakadhum) July 24, 2014
Meanwhile, Iraqi journalist Mina Al-Oraibi, who has 19.6K followers on Twitter, comments:
While Presidency in Iraq is largely ceremonial,it is important for what's left of national sentiment&what little vision there is for country
— Mina Al-Oraibi (@AlOraibi) July 24, 2014
But Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt welcomes the move. He tweets to his 307K followers:
I warmly welcome election of Fouad Masum Hawrami as new President of Iraq. Should pave way for inclusive and broadly based government.
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) July 24, 2014
The next hurdle for Iraq is an agreement on who the next prime minister for Iraq to replace Nouri Almalki should be.