Coalition led by Muqtada al Sadr wins Iraqi election

Coalition led by Muqtada al Sadr wins Iraqi election

Al-Sadr did not run for a seat in parliament and can not become prime minister.

Al-Sadr led the Mahdi army in the early years of the war on terror, using IEDs and machine guns to kill Western forces, O'Neill said. Today, he's rebranded himself as a populist outsider who will fight corruption and Iran's interference in Iraqi affairs. The elections were held Saturday, with low turnout.

"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".

The remaining uncounted ballots, mostly from Iraqis overseas, the security services, and internally displaced people voting in camps and elsewhere, might change the final seat tallies but only marginally.

A document provided to Reuters by a candidate in Baghdad that was also circulating among journalists and analysts showed results from all 18 provinces.

An electoral alliance of Hashd-linked candidates, headed by militia commander Hadi al-Amiri, is now in second place in the election returns.

Iran's Foreign Minister in China to rescue nuclear deal
Zarif is now on a tour of the countries that are the parties to the agreement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to hold consultations to salvage the deal.

O'Neill said the Washington Post recently labeled al-Sadr a political "maverick" as his coalition seeks to unseat incumbent Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Meanwhile, allegations of vote rigging in northern Iraq were delaying final results on Tuesday, with some Kurdish parties demanding a re-run of the weekend's poll.

He announced Tuesday on state television that it was the responsibility of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to conduct the recount to determine accurate results, citing high-profile charges of vote tampering in the disputed province of Kirkuk. By the end of the announcement, al-Sadr's list had the highest popular vote, followed by al-Amiri's.

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.

Reports state that the alliance of the Sadr Movement and the Iraqi Communist Party won the approval of just over 1.3 million people and the gain of 54 seats in a parliament of 329.

Saturday's election is the first since the defeat of ISIL previous year. Almost 2,600 women ran for office this year.

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