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Shia cleric Sadr’s party leads Iraq parliamentary elections

October 11, 2021 at 8:39 pm

Poster of Sadrist Movement Leader Muqtada Al-Sadr is seen as Iraqi demonstrators gather at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq on 3 January 2020 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s party won most seats in this weekend’s early parliamentary elections, initial results showed on Monday.

Anadolu Agency reports that Sadr’s bloc won 73 seats in the 329-member parliament, followed by Taqaddoum (progress) bloc of Parliament Speaker, Mohamed al-Halbousi, with 38 seats.

The State of Law bloc led by former Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, came third with 37 seats, according to the results.

Sadr’s bloc seeks to secure enough seats in parliament to form a government.

In the 2018 parliamentary elections, the Sadr-backed Sairoon alliance won 54 seats in parliament.

READ: Iraq suffers lowest voter turnout

Sunday’s elections saw 3,249 candidates representing 21 coalitions and 109 parties vying for seats in the assembly.

The polls saw a low turnout of only 41%, according to the election commission.

The polls were originally scheduled for 2022 but political parties decided to hold early elections following mass protests that erupted in 2019 against deep-seated corruption and poor services.

The vote was the fifth in Iraq since 2003 when a US-led invasion overthrew the regime of former President Saddam Hussein.