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Iraq's president likely won't seek re-election

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[March 14, 2009]  BAGHDAD (AP) -- Aides to Iraq's President Jalal Talabani say he will probably not seek re-election once his term expires at the end of this year.

RestaurantThe spokesman for Talabani's party, Mula Bakhtiyar Mahmoud, says the president's decision is not final but he wants to rest.

The 75-year-old Kurdish leader has served as president since 2005 and underwent heart surgery in the U.S. last year.

The prime minister wields most of the power, but Talabani has played a major role in mediating disputes among the country's rival communities.

Parliament chooses the president and the two vice presidents - one Shiite and one Sunni. They leave office when Iraqis elect a new parliament at the end of this year.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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