Baghdad, Iraq, October 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — An alliance of Iraqi candidates representing Shiite militias supported by neighboring Iran has emerged as the biggest loser in the country’s national elections, according to partial results released Monday.
The results, posted online successively, also showed the bloc of Iraq’s populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr maintaining the most seats in parliament, leading in several of Iraq’s 18 provinces, including the capital Baghdad. Al-Sadr, a maverick leader remembered for leading an insurgency against US forces after the 2003 invasion, appeared to have increased his movement’s seats in the 329-member parliament from 54 in 2018 to more than 70.
With 94 percent of the ballot boxes counted, none of the competing political blocs appeared on track to win a majority in parliament and consequently name a prime minister. But as the results stand, al-Sadr’s bloc will be able to take a leading role in the political horse-trading to find a compromise candidate and set the political agenda for the next four years.