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Moqtada al-Sadr poised for victory in Iraqi election

Moqtada al-Sadr poised for victory in Iraqi election”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered on Monday a recount of votes in Kirkuk, amid alleged fraud in parliamentary election, Turkmen politician says.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric whose Mahdi Army bloodied the nose of the USA military in the battle of Fallujah in 2004 that left eight Kellogg, Brown and Root transport drivers and three US soldiers dead and who was considered an "outlaw", has won Iraq's parliamentary election. Next in the running is the Conquest Alliance, made up of ex-fighters from mainly Iran-backed paramilitary units that battled IS, with results putting them ahead in four provinces and second in eight others. Although al-Sadr won't be prime minister because he himself didn't run in the election, he will have the power to name the next leader-and this could seriously influence Iraq's politics and policies. 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.

With Sadr's Alliance of Revolutionaries for Reform coalition [Saairun] in the lead as 16 of Iraq's 18 provinces are counted, it now appears the Shia cleric will become Iraq's main powerbroker.

The electoral commission said it would release the remainder of the results on Tuesday.

Although Saturday's election was largely peaceful, less than half of the country's 24.5 million voters headed to polling stations - the lowest turnout since the country's first multiparty elections in 2005.

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.

The result of the election was a ruthless setback.

"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.

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.

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.



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