A political bloc led by populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States who also opposes Iranian influence in Iraq, has won the country’s parliamentary election, the electoral commission said on Saturday.
Sadr himself cannot become prime minister as he did not run in the election, though his bloc’s victory puts him in a position to have a strong say in negotiations. His Sairoon electoral list captured 54 parliamentary seats.
The Victory Alliance, headed by incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, trailed in third place with 42 seats, several seats behind the Al-Fatih bloc, which won 47 seats.
Al-Fatih is led by Hadi al-Amiri, who has close ties with Iran and heads an umbrella group of paramilitaries that played a key role in defeating Islamic State.
The results were announced a week after Iraqis voted in a nationwide election, which produced surprising results amid historically low turnout.