Sadr eyes Govt as poll upset rocks Iraq

Sadr eyes Govt as poll upset rocks Iraq

Sadr eyes Govt as poll upset rocks Iraq

Shia rivals of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi have made big gains in Saturday's parliamentary elections, partial results suggest, according to the BBC NEws report on Monday.

FILE - Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Najaf, Iraq, May 12, 2018.

Abadi, who is the preferred candidate of the U.S., looks set to come in third behind the Fatah (Conquest) alliance, led by former transport minister Hadi al-Amiri, who presides over the political wings of several Shia-led paramilitary forces.

The surprising upset in elections this weekend by Mr. Sadr's unlikely alliance of communists, Sunni businessmen and pious community activists comes amid long-simmering anger at the established politicians who have controlled government since Iraq's first democratic election in 2005 after the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein. Kirkuk's governor Rakan al-Jubouri has also called for a manual recount of votes, a call supported by Turkmen in the province as well.

During the Iraq War, Sadr was a fierce opponent of US forces in the country, and his followers also clashed with Sunnis in sectarian fighting.

Because al-Sadr did not run for a seat, he can not become prime minister, but his deputies in parliament are expected to follow his directives.

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.

"Given the unexpected results that Nasr achieved, the chance of Abadi becoming the [next] prime minister has decreased, especially since the [coalition] under his leadership came in fifth in Baghdad", argued Tasnim. Of more than 2 million Iraqis displaced by the war, the majority are Sunnis.

"The voter turnout was poor and in some areas where the elections were held, militias prevented people from voting or forced them to vote for certain lists", a spokeswoman for Wataniya's told The National.

"The Iraqi people had an election".

The elections commission has announced results from 16 of Iraq's 19 provinces.

Iraqi firebrand political figure Muqtada al-Sadr is set to be announced the surprise victor of the country's elections and prepared for his new status as government titan by making a call for national unity.

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