Iraq president 'improving' in hospital



Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is responding to hospital treatment and "improving hour after hour," a spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Thanks be to God, the president is in good condition and he is improving hour after hour," said Barzan Sheikh Othman, the top media official in Talabani's office, adding that he is "receiving treatment and responding to it."

Talabani was admitted to hospital late on Monday after an emergency that state television reported was a stroke.

A statement from his office on Tuesday said that "bodily functions are normal and the health condition of his excellency the president is stable." It said the emergency was due to hardening of his arteries.

According to Iraq's constitution, the vice president takes over if the post of president becomes vacant, and a new president must be elected by parliament within 30 days.

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