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BAGHDAD: Barham Salih, the veteran Kurdish politician, is set to become Iraq’s next president.

Salih, of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), faced a challenge from Fuad Hussein of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). But Hussein withdrew from the second round of voting in parliament on Tuesday.

However, the official confirmation of Salih’s victory was delayed over a technicality related to the method of Hussein’s withdrawal.

In previous votes, the two main Kurdish parties decided on a single candidate in advance but a failed independence bid for the Kurdistan region last year led to an even deeper rift between them. 

The post of president is allocated to the Kurds under a 2005 agreement with Shiite and Sunni political forces.

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