Hundreds of supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad, Monday (11/10) celebrated the early results of Iraq’s legislative elections, in which al-Sadr emerged as the leading candidate.
Crowds marched around Baghdad’s iconic Tahrir Square, dancing and carrying Iraqi flags and posters of al-Sadr.
A tally based on partial results suggests the Shia cleric will win more than 70 of the 329 seats in parliament.
“Today we congratulate the Iraqi people on the victory of the reform project led by Muqtada al-Sadr. Today we feel that Iraq has been liberated. We haven’t had this feeling since 2003. Today, Iraq is completely free of corruption,” said Fadhil Al Taie, one of al-Sadr’s supporters.
The leader, who is remembered for leading an uprising against US troops after the 2003 invasion, appears to have increased the number of seats his party won in parliament.
The al-Sadr party said it won 73 seats, up from 54 in 2018 and giving the party great influence in forming the government.
Reuters news agency reported that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was the second-biggest winner among Shia parties, according to preliminary results. Shia groups have dominated Iraqi politics since the fall of Sunni leader Saddam Hussein in 2003. [uh/ab]