Muqtada Al Sadr Group Wins Iraqi Election

Iraq’s Independent High Commissioner for Elections Chair Jaleel Adnan Khalaf said the commission “has successfully completed an audit of 3,681 polling stations” that were unable to submit results on election day due to “failure to implement the necessary technical measures.”

“In order to ensure transparency of the electoral process and safeguard voters’ votes and candidate rights in voting, we announce the results after checking and calculating the results, also after matching them in front of the media, domestic and foreign observers,” Khalaf said.

The results of the audit have been published on the commission’s official website, he added.

Followers of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate his victory holding a poster, after the announcement of the results of parliamentary elections in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, October 11, 2021. (Photo: AP)

Followers of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate his victory holding a poster, after the announcement of the results of parliamentary elections in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, October 11, 2021. (Photo: AP)

The Iran-backed Fatah Alliance rejected Tuesday’s preliminary vote count results, which showed it lost about 75 percent of the seats held in the previous parliament, down from 48 seats to 12 to 14 seats only.

Al Sadr retains the most seats by leading in some of Iraq’s 18 provinces, including the capital Baghdad.

Iraqi authorities intensified security in the capital Baghdad, Saturday (16/10) evening, hours before the announcement of the final results of the October 10 parliamentary elections. Officials are also on guard throughout Iraq. This was conveyed by the Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rasheed Yar Allah.

“God willing, our troops are ready to ensure the security situation in Baghdad after the announcement of the election results. All of our military forces are in a state of alert and we hope that this situation will remain peaceful until the whole process is completed. We look forward to the formation of a new government,” he said.

Supporters of Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr drive a vehicle as they celebrate in the central holy city of Najaf following the closure of polling stations during early parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

Supporters of Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr drive a vehicle as they celebrate in the central holy city of Najaf following the closure of polling stations during early parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

The commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces stationed troops and repeatedly set up security posts as vigilance was raised to maximum levels.

Al Sadr, who is remembered for leading the uprising against American forces after the 2003 invasion, appears to have managed to increase the number of seats in parliament from 54 seats in 2018, to more than 70 this year. The Iraqi parliament has 329 seats.

Under Iraqi law, the party that wins the most seats can choose the next prime minister, but it is almost impossible for competing coalitions to win a majority. Therefore, a long process and involving under-the-table negotiations to select a consensus prime minister and agree on a new coalition government is required.

This October 10 parliamentary election is the first since 2018. Turnout this time was only 41 percent, the lowest in the post-Saddam Hussein era. [em/jm]

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