Iraq elections: Muqtada al-Sadr on way to victroy
Published: 01:17 PM, 12 October 2021
Shia Muslim religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s party is set to win Iraq’s parliamentary elections, holding the maximum number of seats. With this, former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is set to emerge as the leader of the second-largest Shia parties.
Shia parties in Iraq have dominated government and government formation since the 2003 US-led invasion. The Shia majority in Iraq’s parliament has risen since the ouster of Sunni leader Saddam Hussein. The Kurds are also sharing power.
Parliamentary elections in Iraq took place on Sunday, before the scheduled time. The government collapsed in 2019 amid widespread protests against political leaders. Voter turnout in Sunday’s election was a record low – at 41 percent, creating an opportunity for Shia parties to usurp power from the ruling elite, although religious parties are not going to be withdrawn from the sphere of influence of power.
Preliminary results show that Muqtada al-Sadr’s party has won 73 seats in the 329-seat Iraqi parliament. The Progressive Coalition of Sunni leader and parliamentary speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi is in second place with 38 seats. Besides, the third-ranked ‘Rule of Law’ party got 36 seats.
Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the party leading the Iraqi parliamentary elections, has called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. He promised in a televised speech on Monday night that he would form a “nationalist government free of foreign influence.”
It is to be noted that the elections were held on Sunday a few months ahead of the scheduled time after the fall of the government in mass protests in 2019. Ordinary people are angry with the country’s political leaders, alleged that “the politicians are getting rich by selling the country”.