Baghdad, October 13: Hours after several rockets struck Baghdad's Green Zone, the Iraqi Parliament elected Kurdish politician Abdul Latif Rashid as the country's new president ending the country's political deadlock. The newly elected president has replaced fellow Iraqi Kurd Barham Saleh as head of state after the two-round vote in parliament on Thursday, winning more than 160 votes against 99 for Saleh, Al Jazeera reported citing an assembly official.

Rashid, 78 was the Iraqi minister of water resources from 2003 to 2010 and is a British-educated engineer. A first round of voting on the presidential nomination failed to reach the required two-thirds majority. Iraq had made three failed attempts this year to elect a new head of state from February 7 to March 30.

Iraqi lawmakers reconvened in the afternoon after a quorum was reached to postpone the session, with at least 269 of the 329 members attending the session, Al Jazeera reported. A first round of voting on the presidential nomination resulted in failure to reach the required two-thirds majority. A second round was underway. The attack was condemned by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Twitter, saying "we categorically reject any attempt to obstruct the democratic process."

"We support the completion of the constitutional deadlines to end the political crisis," he said. In an earlier incident that occurred late last month, rockets hit the Green Zone as the lawmakers were about to vote for the deputy speaker of parliament, Al Jazeera reported.Iraqi cleric Al Sadr's supporters stormed the parliament on June 30 earlier and stalled the government formation process when Al-Sudani was first named the nominee. Iran's SCO Membership is a Step Away from Shackles of Western Sanctions, Close to Asian Multilateralism.

Notably, Al-Sadr's bloc won 73 seats in Iraq's October 2021 election, making it the largest faction in the 329-seat parliament but, ever since the vote, talks to form a new government have stalled, and Al-Sadr stepped down from the political process. Inorder to avoid sectarian conflict in Iraq, Iraq's president is Kurdish, its prime minister is Shia and its parliament speaker is Sunni under a power-sharing system.

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