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April 6, 2005

Iraqi Parliament Appoints Kurd as President

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

After weeks of arguing over the formation of a new government, the Iraqi parliment has elected Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as Iraq's president - nine weeks after the elections. Talabani is the first Kurd to be Iraq's president, and the first non-Arab president of an Arab state, which is a cause of celebration among the minority Kurdish community that backed the U.S.-led invasion. In addition to the new president, two vice presidents were elected: Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi'ite who was finance minister in the outgoing government, and Sunni Arab tribal leader Ghazi Yawar, the former president. From Reuters via Wired News:

(...) "This is the new Iraq -- an Iraq that elects a Kurd to be president and an Arab former president as his deputy," parliament speaker Hajem al-Hassani said after the vote. "What more could the world want from us?"

(...) In Kurdish town across northern Iraq, residents danced in the streets, waved Kurdish flags and posters of Talabani, and honked their car horns. Kurds also celebrated in Kirkuk, where ethnic tensions have been mounting due to competing Kurdish, Arab and Turkman claims on the strategic oil city.

More from Reuters ...

Posted by Hyscience at April 6, 2005 9:37 AM

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