Iraq vote: Shia religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr still leading

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Political coalition of influential Shia religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr is still in the lead in Iraq’s national elections of May 12, with votes of 16 out of 18 provinces (91%) counted as of Tuesday morning. His bloc Al-Sairun (Alliance of Revolutionaries for Reforms) is so far in the lead of the other two alliances –Hadi al-Amiri’s Fatah Alliance and Prime Minister Abadi’s Nasr (Victory) Alliance.

Iraq’s electoral commission promised to announce the final voting outcome yet on Monday, May 14. It is anticipated that Al-Sairun bloc will get the prerogative to nominate future prime minister, according Al Arabiya.

Al-Sairun bloc has won elections in capital city electoral district. Bagdad delegates the biggest number of representatives to the parliament, according to Al Arabiya.

As EADaily reported earlier, voter turnout proved very low since Saddam Hussein’s overthrow in 2003. Only 44.5% of eligible voters participated in the voting. Previously, voter turnover in post-Saddam Iraq was above 60%.

Local observers explain low turnout with high security measures on voting day, “apathy of voters” towards domestic political fight and many errors of e-voting system that is applied in the country for the first time.

Split-up political forces of Shiites and Iraqi Sunnites will most probably result in establishment of “government of national unity,” as no force will be able to form government independently.

Ongoing election campaign is as never disintegrated. Earlier Shiite and Sunnite poles of Iraq used to come out from consolidated positions during elections, whereas now domestic political field is fragmented dramatically. Shiite forces of Iraq are represented by five separate political blocs, Sunnites – by two ones.

To recall, Iraqis are electing a new 329-seat Council of Representatives (parliament). 6,990 candidates representing 87 parties and blocs are running for the parliament. 25 percent or 83 of parliamentarians shall be female, 9 – representatives of ethnic minorities and confessions (including 5 Christians).