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IRAQ Election: Prime minister trails rivals

With over half the votes counted, powerful Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has emerged as the leading contender in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, a remarkable comeback after…

With over half the votes counted, powerful Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has emerged as the leading contender in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, a remarkable comeback after being sidelined for years by Iranian-backed rivals.

While final results for Iraq’s parliamentary election are expected later on Monday, early results show Iran-backed paramilitary commander Hadi al-Amiri’s bloc to be in second place, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s list in third.

Results from eight provinces are yet to be announced, including from Nineveh – which has the second-largest number of seats after the capital Baghdad. 

The parliamentary elections on Saturday serve as the first national referendum since the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in 2017.

The vote was widely seen as a verdict on Abadi’s tenure and his pledge to be more inclusive of Iraq’s Sunni minority.

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