BAGHDAD, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will not
seek re-election after Thursday's parliamentary election because the new
constitution has curbed his powers, his office said on Tuesday.
"This position does not tempt me," Talabani told state broadcaster
al-Iraqiya on Monday in comments later issued by his office. "I would not
nominate myself given the powers the president now has under the new
constitution. He has no power to participate in the running of the state.
"I wouldn't want to be a president of protocol."
Talabani, leader of one of Iraq's two main Kurdish parties, became
president after the Jan. 30 election for an interim assembly. Since then,
Iraq has drafted and approved a new constitution which he says waters down
Talabani's decision not to seek re-election suggests he might seek a
more powerful post in the new government.
His Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the two parties in the
Kurdish bloc which came second in January's election, is part of the
coalition government and is expected to be a major player in the new
assembly formed after Thursday's vote.