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Iraq: Kurdish politician Massoum named president

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, left, speaks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during a meeting in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 24, 2014. The UN chief is expected to urge politicians there to form a new government quickly. Al-Maliki is facing growing calls for his resignation as disgruntled Sunnis say they do not believe he will give them a greater voice in the government. (AP Photo/Ahmad Al-Rubaye, Pool) -
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, left, speaks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during a meeting in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 24, 2014. The UN chief is expected to urge politicians there to form a new government quickly. Al-Maliki is facing growing calls for his resignation as disgruntled Sunnis say they do not believe he will give them a greater voice in the government. (AP Photo/Ahmad Al-Rubaye, Pool)
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By Qassim Abdul-Zahra And Sinan Salaheddin, The Associated Press

BAGHDAD - Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum has been named the new president of Iraq following a parliamentary vote.

Massoum, 76, is one of the founders of current President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party. He is considered a soft-spoken moderate, known for keeping good relations with Sunni and Shiite Arab politicians.

The vote for president -- a largely ceremonial post -- was delayed for a day when the Kurdish bloc requested more time to select a candidate. They named Massoum as their pick late Wednesday.

Under an unofficial agreement dating back to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq's presidency is held by a Kurd while the prime minister is Shiite and the parliamentary speaker is Sunni.

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