News & Events

INTERVIEW: Iraqi Shiite cleric takes surprise lead in Iraq’s parliamentary elections

By Zaid Al-Ali,  May 15, 2018

AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION: A Shia nationalist cleric in Iraq who led two uprisings against American troops has taken a surprise lead in parliamentary elections results.

Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr appears to have tapped into public resentment with Iran and what some voters say is a corrupt political elite it supports.

Muqtada Al-Sadr fronts the al-Sairoon Coalition, or the Marchers — an alliance of his Sadrist Movement and the Iraqi Communist Party.

He didn’t run as a candidate in the election but he will be influential in choosing the choose Iraq’s next prime minister.

It’s a significant blow to the re-election campaign of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi who had Washington’s backing.

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