2022 Iraq presidential election starts

Iraq presidential elections 2022
2022 Iraq presidential election – Photo: The Media Line

Iraq will hold presidential elections today.

The largely ceremonial position is currently held by Barham Salih, who is up for reelection. The election was initially scheduled for February 7, but the vote was postponed due to a boycott by members of parliament following the Supreme Court’s decision to rule out the candidacy of Hoshyar Zebari over corruption charges. Zebari was the favorite candidate among the winning parties of the October 2021 parliamentary election and would have been a serious contender.

There are 33 candidates vying for the post. Salih’s main competition is now Reber Ahmed of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Since 2006, it has been traditional to elect a Kurd to Iraq’s presidency while a Sunni heads the parliament, and a Shia is prime minister. This turmoil follows October’s election results, where the Sunni’s regained control of Iraq’s political future. Sunnis make up 20% of Iraq’s population, thus these results upset the balance of power and have caused a growing division between political factions.

It is likely that Salih will keep his position, though he will face tough competition. The postponement of the election also shows the deepening political crisis in Iraq, and that this will not be resolved soon.

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