Iraqi Election Frontrunner Moktada al-Sadr Courts Partners to Govern
Iraqi Election Frontrunner Moktada al-Sadr Courts Partners to Govern
Iraqi municipality workers dismantle election posters in Najaf Iraq
16 May, 2018, 12:00
Shia Muslim alliance Saima, of Muqtada al-Sadr, won the general elections in Iraq, after counting 91 percent of votes in 16 of the country " s 18 provinces, it was reported here today.
Tallies put the anti-establishment Conquest Alliance of pro-Iranian former paramilitary fighters who helped battle ISIS in second, and incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's bloc back in third.
Sadr, 44, led an alliance of several groups, including Sunni businessmen and Communists.
"The recent proximity of Muqtada al-Sadr to Saudi Arabia has led the Sairoon Alliance to be partly considered as a group backed by the Saudis and ... to some extent means greater influence of Saudi Arabia [in Iraq] compared to its regional rivals", wrote Shargh on May 15, adding, "Sadr's supporters are opposed to Iranian influence and are vehemently anti-American".
Projecting himself as an Iraqi nationalist, Sadr has a zealous following among the young, poor and dispossessed, but he had been sidelined by influential Iran-backed figures.
Those thought to be referred to are al-Hikma, al-Wataniya, Irada, New Generation, Gorran (Change), al-Qarrar, Bayariq, al-Nasr (Victory), Baghdad Alliance, Hawiyatuna, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and Kawadir. More than 2 million people are displaced by war, a lot of them Sunnis.
O'Neill warned that such a situation could be tenuous if America's former "enemy number one" is able to choose the next prime minister. The liberation came at a tremendous cost to the city, parts of which has been laid waste by the US and Iran-backed campaign, but the province appears to have rewarded al-Abadi for his leadership.
The electoral commission released results from 10 of 19 provinces Sunday night, including tallies from Baghdad and Basra provinces. It says it will announce the remaining results Tuesday.
He was followed by Amiri with more than 1.2 million votes, translating into around 47 seats, and Abadi with more than 1 million votes and about 42 seats. Whoever wins the most seats must negotiate a coalition government in order to have a majority in parliament.
Celebrations erupted in Baghdad's Sadr City, an impoverished quarter that is home to some 3 million people and is named after the cleric's late father, Ayatollah Mohammad Sadq al-Sadr. But Sadr will not become prime minister because he did not run in the election.
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He also has said he is open to USA training of Iraq's military and regularly meets with US diplomats in Baghdad . The election came as the country deals with the disenfranchisement of the country's Sunni minority.
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