Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Iraq election thrown wide open as outsider alliances show strength

Iraq election thrown wide open as outsider alliances show strength

Security and commission sources had earlier said Abadi was leading the election, which was held on Saturday and is the first since the defeat of Daesh group in the country.

Turnout was 44.5 per cent with 92 per cent of votes counted, the Independent High Electoral Commission said - significantly lower than in previous elections.

The Victory Alliance of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has been backed by the global community, looked to have won in only one province.

An official at the US State Department remained coy ahead of the definitive tally, telling Agence France-Presse "we are awaiting the announcement of the official results and look forward to the formation of the new government".

BAGHDAD — The surprisingly strong showing of a ticket backed by maverick cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraqi elections over the weekend will force USA officials to recalculate how best to proceed in the region at an especially sensitive moment.

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

Mr Sadr came to prominence after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, as the leader of a group of young men in a largely poor area of Baghdad.

What in the World Good news in Iraq
Iraq prime minister Haider al-Abadi appears to be ahead in poll

Al Sadr commanded fighters in the war against the Daesh group and headed a powerful militia that fought USA forces in Iraq prior to 2011, but his 2018 campaign focused on social issues and eliminating government corruption. Authorities are seeking as much as $88 billion for postwar reconstruction.

Iraq's Sairoon coalition, led by opposition leader Muqtada al-Sadr, came in first in Saturday's parliamentary polls, while the pro-government Al-Fatih coalition, led by Hadi al-Amiri, came in second, according to unofficial results.

Whoever wins the election will have to contend with the fallout from United States president Donald Trump's decision to quit Iran's nuclear deal, a move Iraqis fear could turn their country into a theatre of conflict between Washington and Tehran.

Abadi, a British-educated engineer, was seen by some Iraqis as lacking charisma and ineffective.

Political power in Iraq is traditionally divided along sectarian lines among the offices of prime minister, president and parliament speaker.

Even if Abadi's Victory Alliance wins the most seats, he still must negotiate a coalition government, which must be formed within 90 days of the election.

More news: Eighty-two women to take part in Cannes Film Festival protest

Like this: