The political bloc led by Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr won the Iraqi parliamentary election that held last week, according to Iraq’s electoral commission on Saturday. Al-Sadr is a rival to the US and is known for opposing the US and Iranian interventions in the Iraqi affairs.
Al-Sadr himself cannot become the prime minister of Iraq since he did not run in the election, but the victory gives him more power in the negotiations for selecting the new prime minister, as his bloc “Saeroon” captured 54 parliamentary seats of 392 seats, according to the results released on Saturday.
The results showed that the Al-Fatih bloc, which is led by Hadi Al-Amiri who has close ties with Iran, won 47 seats, coming second in the elections, while the Victory Alliance led by incumbent Haider Al-Abadi, who led the battle against the Islamic State (IS) group and defeated them in Iraq, came at the third place with 42 seats.
Ahead of conducting the election, Iran announced that it will not allow Al-Sadr bloc to govern Iraq. Al-Sadr formed a militia for fighting the US forces after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The Sadr bloc vowed to help the poor and build hospitals and schools in the ruined places as a result of the fight against IS. Following the declaration of the results, Al-Sadr tweeted saying “reform wins and corruption defeated.”
On Saturday last week, Iraqis cast their ballots in the first parliamentary election since the defeat of IS, and the fourth election since the ouster of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The election is also the first to be held after the failure of the Kurdish independence referendum, that its outcomes have been frozen by the Kurdish Regional Government, after tensions with the federal government in December 2017.
Iraq witnessed devastation in different territories during the last four years during the battle with IS.