Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi trails in preliminary election results
May 14, 2018, 13:21
MOSUL, Iraq-Iraqis voted this weekend in their lowest numbers since the country became a democracy, reflecting growing political disenchantment even after Islamic State's defeat rallied the country together.
With most votes depended, a bloc led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and another headed by a militia leader are ahead, voting officers have been quoted as stating.
"Iraq will not allow IS terrorists to regroup in Iraq, as they will not find breeding ground inside Iraq anymore", Abadi told reporters in Baghdad.
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The announcement came just over 24 hours after polls closed across the country amid record low voter turnout. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a moderate Shiite Muslim with tacit support from the US, ran against a host of opponents, including Iran-backed former.
"For the first time I can say congratulations to the leader and congratulations to the Iraqi people, congratulations on winning first place in Baghdad, and God willing we will be the first in Iraq", said Abbas Allawi, a candidate on the Sadr-backed Sairoon list. More than 10 million Iraqis voted.
Both Sadr's bloc and the bloc loyal to Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Brigade, are the top two right now, with Abadi's state of law in third.
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's Victory Alliance is in third place.
His chief rivals are political parties with closer ties to Iran, as well as the influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a staunch nationalist who campaigned against government corruption.
The strong showing could be a testament to al-Sadr's loyal base of followers he maintains who cast their ballots despite a general mood of apathy that kept many Iraqis away from the polls.
Sadr portrays himself as an Iraqi nationalist and previous year met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia who is staunchly opposed to Iran. But no party is likely to win a majority needed to choose the prime minister and form the government. Dozens of alliances ran for office in these elections and months of negotiations are expected before any one alliance can pull together the 165 required seats. Since the first elections following the 2003 US -led toppling of Saddam Hussein, the Shiite majority has held the position of prime minister, while the Kurds have held the presidency and the Sunnis have held the post of parliament speaker.
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