Iraq: Abdul Latif Rashid is the new president

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The new president of Iraq rushed to order the formation of a government to Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, in order to end the political deadlock in the country as soon as possible

The 78-year-old Abdul Latif Rashid was elected president of Iraq after a vote in the parliament. In the second round of voting, Rasheed secured more than 160 votes and beat outgoing President Barham Saleh who collected 99 votes.

The new president of Iraq hastened to order the formation of a government to Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, in order to end the political deadlock in the country as soon as possible. “We congratulate brother Mohammed Shia al-Sudani,” outgoing Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazimi wrote on Twitter.

Abdul Latif Rashid was born on 10 August 1944 in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan, studied in Britain and has a PhD in hydraulic engineering.

It comes from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the historic Kurdish minority party, which Rashid represented in the 1990s in London.

From 2003 to 2010 he was the Minister of Water Resources and then he was an adviser to the then president Jalal Talabani (founder of PUK).

He is considered particularly sensitive to environmental issues and is expected to bring back to the fore issues that he had fought for when he was a minister: such as the dispute with neighboring Turkey over the exploitation of water resources from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, but also the protection of its Marshes of Mesopotamia that have been declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco.

A father of three, he is fond of painting and in 2014 opened a gallery in Suleymaniyeh where he exhibits works by local artists.

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