Veteran Iraqi Kurdish politician Fuad Masum looks set to become Iraq's next president after the main Kurdish blocs in parliament agreed on his candidacy on July 24.
According to an informal power-sharing agreement in place since the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein, the position of Iraqi president goes to a Kurd.
Masum reportedly edged his rival Barham Saleh during a vote that Kurdish MPs held behind closed doors in a Baghdad hotel.
Masum, 76, is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party of current Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
A vote to select the next president is scheduled in parliament later on July 24, after Kurdish lawmakers on July 23 requested a one-day delay.
The international community has put pressure on parliament to quickly elect new officials, more than three months after parliamentary elections.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa