Turkmen leader announces candidacy for Iraqi presidency

By Ali Mukarrem Garip

KIRKUK, Iraq (AA) – Abbas Beyatli, deputy leader of Iraq’s Turkmen Nationalist Movement, announced his candidacy for the post of president on Monday.

“As the third main ethnic group in Iraq, Turkmen demand the post,” Beyatli told Anadolu Agency.

If elected, he went on to assert, he would strive to be a president “for all Iraqis”.

“We no longer want a president who is biased towards a particular party, sect or ethnic identity,” Beyatli said.

Last week, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) nominated Barham Salih, head of the Coalition for Democracy and Justice Party, for the presidential post.

According to local media reports, Hoshyar Zebari, a leading member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and a former finance minister, will also vie for the position.

And on Sunday, Sirve Abdulvahid, an independent politician of Kurdish origin, likewise announced her candidacy, becoming the first female politician to do so.

Later this month (an exact date has yet to be set), Iraq’s newly-elected parliament will choose the country’s next president, who will then task the majority bloc in the assembly with drawing up a new government.