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Iraq‘s lawmakers have elected veteran Kurdish moderate politician Barham Salih as the country’s new president, the state television reports.

Salih was chosen on Tuesday after a dispute between the two main Kurdish parties delayed the vote, eventually forcing them to choose among 20 nominees.

Shia lawmaker Hamid al-Moussawi said the session was delayed because the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan were unable to agree on a single candidate.

The new president will have 15 days to task the nominee of the largest parliamentary bloc with forming a new government.

Under an unofficial agreement dating back to the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq’s presidency – a largely ceremonial role – is held by a Kurd, while the prime minister is Shia and the parliament speaker is Sunni.

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