Al-Sadr refused to form a coalition with supporters of Iran

Cheryl Sanders
May 15, 2018

Will not enter the coalition and the movement "For the rule of law", headed by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday revealed potential political allies needed to form a new government following Saturday's as-of-yet inconclusive elections.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric whose Mahdi Army bloodied the nose of the USA military in the battle of Fallujah in 2004 that left eight Kellogg, Brown and Root transport drivers and three US soldiers dead and who was considered an "outlaw", has won Iraq's parliamentary election.

"We are Sayirun (Marching) with Hikma (Wisdom) and al-Wataniya (Patriotism) so that the Iradah (Will) of the people be our aim and to build Jilan Jadidan (a New Generation) and to witness Taghir (Gorran/Change) to the better and for the al-Qarar (Decision) to be Iraqi", the tweet read, according to Rudaw, punning on the political party names in Iraq.

Sadr has led two uprisings against USA forces in Iraq and is one of the few Shiite leaders to distance himself from Iran.

On Tuesday, the prime minister called Sadr to congratulate him for the election victory, the cleric's office said.

The announcement came just over 24 hours after polls closed across the country amid record low voter turnout.

No single group is expected to gain an outright majority.

Abadi, who is the preferred candidate of the USA, looks set to come in third behind the Fatah (Conquest) alliance, led by former transport minister Hadi al-Amiri, who presides over the political wings of several Shia-led paramilitary forces. Despite a third place finish, Abadi could potentially still remain prime minister after the government coalition is formed. Both Sadr and Ameri are long-time political veterans well-known to Iraqis, but they pitched themselves as seeking to sweep clean the country's reviled elite.

Recounts following disputes in the Dohuk and Kirkuk provinces have delayed any final announcement, but officials said a full tally should be out over the next two days.

Seats in parliament will be allocated proportionately to coalitions once all votes are counted.

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