Opponent of Iraq Kurd leader only candidate in presidential vote

The region, which last week voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence in a referendum rejected by Baghdad, will hold presidential and legislative elections on November 1.

Opponent of Iraq Kurd leader only candidate in presidential vote

World Bulletin / News Desk

An opponent of Iraqi Kurd leader Massud Barzani is the only person to present his candidacy for next month's presidential election in the autonomous region, the electoral chief said Tuesday.

"By the deadline for candidates on Tuesday, we had received all the documents necessary for Mohammad Tofiq Rahim to be a candidate for the presidency of Kurdistan. He is the only person to have declared himself a candidate," electoral commission Yari Hadji Omar told AFP by telephone from the regional capital Arbil.

Barzani has said repeatedly he would not stand for re-election.

Rahim, 64, a former member of the Kurdish peshmerga security forces, is a member of Goran, a party strongly opposed to Barzani.

He has opposed Barzani's mandate being extended.

The most recent presidential vote in the autonomous Kurdish region was in 2009.

Originally, a presidential term of office was four years, but in 2013 parliament extended it by two years.

A general election was held in September 2013, but Kurdish parliamentary activity has been frozen since November 2015, enabling Barzani to remain in power.

"The commission must now examine the documents and accept his candidacy," Hadji Omar said of Rahim.

In September 2003, Rahim became industry minister in the first Iraqi cabinet that followed the US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

The September 25 referendum on Kurdish independence, a Barzani initiative, returned a resounding 92.73 percent "yes" result.

Last Mod: 03 Ekim 2017, 16:13
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