The presidency is a largely ceremonial position, but the vote begins a two-week countdown until the constitutional deadline, by which time a prime minister must be chosen to form the next government. Under the political system that took shape after 2003, Iraq’s presidency is reserved for the Kurds, while the speaker is Sunni and the prime minister is from the Shiite majority. Those positions are typically decided by quid-pro-quo deals among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, but unprecedented division within each of those groups have complicated the process. In the past, the Kurds agreed on a candidate among themselves, but this time they have fielded multiple candidates. The two front-runners are Barham Salih, a former prime minister of the semiautonomous Kurdistan region, and Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to former President Masoud Barzani. Both have held meetings with Shiite political leaders in Baghdad in recent days to win support for […]