Iraq elections – Muqtada al-Sard’s coalition comes first

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The release final results of Iraq’s parliamentary vote indicate that Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition (the Alliance of Revolutionaries for Reform) is leading in the polls. Coming in second is Hadi al-Amiri’s Fatah (Conquest) coalition, featuring a list of candidates from Shia militias. Incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s coalition, Nasr (Victory) Alliance, is third. Saturday’s election was the first since the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) group, but the turnout fell far short of previous elections with only 44.52 percent of registered voters participating.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has promised to work with the winner of Iraq’s parliamentary elections.

Reports indicate that Sairoun won the national popular vote with more than 1.3 million votes, gaining 54 seats in parliament out of a total of 329. Nevertheless, the majority did not vote, partly due to a boycott campaign spearheaded online by activists.

Sairoun did not stand in the last two provinces to be counted, Duhok and Kirkuk, both of which are facing delays over voting disputes.

Abadi, even though third in the run, could still potentially remain prime minister after a coalition government is formed in a process that must take place within 90 days.

“We are ready to work and cooperate in forming the strongest government for Iraq, free of corruption,” Abadi said, referencing the issue that has been at the forefront of most voters’ minds.

The outcome is likely to alarm both of Iraq’s primary sponsors, the US and Iran, as the coalition adopted a strictly nationalist position, rejecting the influence of external powers. The Middle East Eye reminds that Sadr has been equally as antagonistic to Iran, as he repeatedly condemned its meddling in Iraq and Syria, making him stand out among Shia leaders in calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

Source Middle East Eye, Al Jazeera

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