Iraqi Shia wins most seats in parliament

Muqtada al-Sadr set to win Iraq vote, former PM al-Maliki second

Supporters of the Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr celebrated in the streets of the southern city of Najaf on Sunday after polls closed. [Photo: Getty Images]

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.

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.

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