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Four Iraqi Kurds stand for regional presidency

Four candidates have entered the race for the presidency of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, to be contested in an election on July 25, the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq said on Sunday.

world Updated: May 25, 2009 01:18 IST

Four candidates have entered the race for the presidency of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, to be contested in an election on July 25, the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq said on Sunday.

The candidates are current president Massud Barzani, Halo Ibrahim Ahmed -- a brother of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's wife, London-based academic Kamal Mirawdly and businessman Hussein Karmiani, it announced.

"Monday will be deadline for nominations to run for the presidency," said Ali Qadir, a regional electoral official.

The Kurdish elections for parliament and the presidency will be held seven months after provincial polls were held in most of the rest of Iraq, the first vote in the country since 2005.

About 2.5 million people are eligible to vote, according to the regional Kurdistan election commission, and more than 40 political entities have registered to contest the 111 seats in the assembly.

The three provinces in norther Iraq that make up the autonomous region, along with the disputed province of Kirkuk, did not take part in the relatively violence-free provincial polls held in Iraq's 14 other provinces on January 31.