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Iraq rivals jostle for power after Sadr's shock win

Iraq rivals jostle for power after Sadr's shock win

The elections were held Saturday, with low turnout. Incumbent Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi's coalition, initially predicted to win re-election, trails in third.

The result of the election was a ruthless setback.

His spokesman, Saleh al-Obeidi, said in an interview in Baghdad on Tuesday that Mr. Sadr's movement is seeking allies who agree to its three-plank manifesto - ending the practice of awarding ministries on sectarian quotas, fighting corruption and allowing independent technocrats to manage key government agencies.

Influential cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc won the most seats, while Badr Brigade head Hadi al-Amiri came in a close second.

Meanwhile, allegations of vote rigging in northern Iraq were delaying final results on Tuesday, with some Kurdish parties demanding a re-run of the weekend's poll.

The elections commission has announced results from 16 of Iraq's 19 provinces.

Abadi and Maliki are bitter rivals despite coming from the establishment Dawa party that has dominated politics in post-Saddam Iraq. Abadi has said he is ready to work with the victor of the election.

However, his election could help to create a less corrupt and more technocratic government that helps the people.

5 things you need to know now
Al-Sadr refused to form a coalition with supporters of Iran

"If we want to change things then the prime minister needs to come from Marching Towards Reform", said Salah Jamal, 24. Will it be a grand coalition between the main Shi'ite groups? In the past there were coalitions between the Kurds and Shi'ite modernists but now this option appears to be hard to manage.

Now, the Americans can influence the modernist parties to build a coalition but the regional powers, namely Iran, will have a lot more to say about this election.

Claims of fraud are ubiquitous in large votes in countries like Iraq with a deep history of corruption.

Some prominent politicians now believe that al-Abadi is still the favorite to form the next government despite losing.

Nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon Coalition achieved an upset victory, in what has been described as a repudiation of both United States and Iranian influence in Iraq.

Subsequent within the working was the Conquest Alliance, made up of ex-fighters from primarily Iran-backed paramilitary models that battled IS, with outcomes placing them forward in 4 provinces and second in eight others. Neither of these options is easy or straightforward. The government should be formed within 90 days of the official results.

The author is vice president of Soran University and writes for local and worldwide newspapers and academic journals, mainly focusing on Kurdistan's socio-political affairs within the wider Middle Eastern context.

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