Kurdish politician Abdul Latif Rashid was elected as Iraq’s new president by parliament on Thursday. This move ends a year of political stalemates and violence. Rashid won 162 out of the 269 votes in parliament, beating the current President Barham Salim. Rashid has named Mohammad Shia al-Sudani as prime minister, and he now has one month to create a government.
The vote on Thursday saw an end of the longest political deadlock in Iraq since 2003. The politicians have been struggling to form a government since elections were held in October 2021. In August, Shia Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who had been elected in October of 2021, announced he was retiring. HIs supporters then rampaged through the streets of the capital in a show of force that injured 250 people and killed 21. The Green Zone was occupied and sporadic violence continued to plague that area during the political paralysis.