Militant-turned-populist cleric Sadr wins Iraqi election

Followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, seen in the banner, attend open-air Friday prayers past a in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, May 18, 2018. Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who pipped Iran’s favored candidates to come first in national elections, says he wants to form a government that puts Iraqis first. Arabic on al-Sadr's campaign poster reads: "elections."(AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

Iraq's electoral commission says a political coalition led by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has won the most seats in Iraq's national parliamentary elections, according to the release of complete results

BAGHDAD — Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's political coalition has won the most seats in Iraq's national parliamentary elections, according to complete results released by Iraq's electoral commission early Saturday.

The announcement came nearly a week after Iraqis cast their votes on May 12 and put Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in third place, according to seat allocations. An alliance of candidates with close ties to mostly Iranian-backed paramilitary forces came in second.

"Your vote is an honor for us," al-Sadr said in a statement released on twister just moments after the official announcement.

"We will not disappoint you," he continued, adding "the blame, all the blame is on those who failed Iraq."

The election win marks the most significant victory of al-Sadr's political career.

Partial results were announced earlier in the week, but allegations of irregularities and fraud delayed the complete count.

The vote was marked by record low turnout that benefited al-Sadr who maintains loyal supporters who made it out to the polls when apathy kept many millions away.

No one alliance won an outright majority and negotiations over forming the government are expected to drag on for months as parties try to form a bloc large enough to gain a majority in parliament.

While al-Sadr's coalition won the largest number of seats, it is yet unclear if the next prime minister will come from his camp. Prolonged negotiations could result in a compromise candidate from a rival coalition.

Following the 2003 U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Al-Sadr burst onto the scene as a renegade champion of poorer Shiites, leading militant fighters who carried out deadly attacks on American forces and were notorious for sectarian killings of Sunni Muslims.

In recent years, al-Sadr has gained popularity as a nationalist voice, opposing Iranian influence and waging a public campaign against corruption. For this election, he ran a non-sectarian campaign focused on issues of social justice, allying with secularists and Iraq's communist party, and broadening support beyond his traditional base.

You may also like these

Third time's charm on visas for Afghan girls...

Jul 13, 2017

Third time's the charm for war-torn Afghanistan's all girls team who have been applying for U.S....

UN reports rise in Afghan war deaths, blames...

Jul 17, 2017

A U.N. report says Afghanistan's protracted war killed a record number of civilians during the...

Watchdog: Tight security hinders oversight of US...

Aug 1, 2017

The U.S. watchdog tasked with overseeing the spending of U.S. aid to Afghanistan said unprecedented...

The Latest: IS attack targets Afghanistan's...

Aug 25, 2017

Officials say an attack on a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul has killed at least 20 people...

At least 20 people killed in mosque attack in...

Aug 25, 2017

Officials say an attack on a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul has killed at least 20 people...

About Us

The Journalist Report publishes timely news updates around the clock. We have a group of journalists around the globe to deliver the latest news around so that we can get our users connected.

Contact us: sales[at]thejournalistreport.com

Subscribe Now!