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.