Shafaq News/ A quorum of two thirds the total number of parliament members is enough for the legislative body to convene and elect a president of the republic, Iraq's Supreme Court said on Thursday.
"The Council of Representatives elects a President by a majority two thirds the total number of MPs," the Court said in response to a question lodged by the incumbent President of the Republic, Barham Salih, who is vying to a second term in office with 24 candidates.
Salih said on Tuesday he will run for a second four-year term in office, and called on his fellow politicians to vote for him in next week's parliamentary session.
Salih is among 25 candidates who have been approved by parliament to stand for the largely ceremonial role. The legislative body is scheduled to meet on February 7 to vote for the republic's next president in an important step towards the formation of a new government after October's general election.
The president of the republic "must be a symbol for the unity of the country and its sovereignty, a guardian to its constitution and a president for all Iraqis," Salih said in a televised speech.
"I am looking forward to assuming the responsibility once again," he said, listing his efforts since taking office in 2018 in leading initiatives to draft laws and tackling the challenges Iraq has been facing.
His nomination has raised tension between the country’s two main Kurdish parties. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) nominated Salih, a decision which was rejected by its rival, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The KDP instead nominated former foreign and finance minister Hoshyar Zebari for the post.
A long-standing agreement among the Kurds usually sees a PUK nominee installed as president, while the KDP is left to run the Kurdistan region.
But the KDP is seeking to adjust the accounts after securing 31 seats in the 329-seat parliament in October's election, while the Kurdistan Alliance, led by the PUK, won only 17 seats.