Iraq prime minister Haider al-Abadi appears to be ahead in poll

Iraq prime minister Haider al-Abadi appears to be ahead in poll

Full results are due to be officially announced later on Monday. Although he did not run for office, his coalition has received far more votes than current Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's political block, initial election results show.

The electoral commission of Iraq announced that 44.5 percent of those eligible had cast their ballots in the elections.

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

In the cleric's impoverished Sadr City neighborhood in Baghdad residents said they were hoping for improvements after the elections.

But despite improved security, Iraq is still struggling to rebuild itself after four years of war against IS, the BBC's Martin Patience in Baghdad says. He was followed by Amiri with more than 1.2 million votes, translating into 47 seats, and Abadi with more than 1 million votes and 42 seats.

As in Muqtada al Sadr, the Shiite cleric who is best known as a one-time - and possibly future - USA foe who may have finally outfoxed the Americans, Iranians, and Iraq's political elite to become the supreme political power in Iraq.

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. Sadr has kept Tehran at a distance. Sadr has recently campaigned against corruption and can summon millions into the streets to protest policies he opposes.

We will remind, on may 12 in Iraq held parliamentary elections.

Whatever the outcome, there looks to be lengthy horse-trading between the main political forces before any government can be formed.

Al Abadi sought to retain his post as prime minister after overseeing the military defeat of the Daesh movement, but faced stiff competition from his predecessor, Nouri al Maliki, as well as al Sadr and the Fatah alliance of candidates with paramilitary ties.

The poll Saturday noticed a document low turnout, as exclusively 44.5 % of eligible voters headed to the polls within the lowest participation fee for the reason that 2003 US-led ouster of Saddam Hussein. Most are predominantly Shia or Sunni, though the Kurds have their own lists.

The constitution sets a quota for female representation, stating that no less than one-fourth of parliament members must be women.

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