U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the United States stands by Iraqis' electoral choices, despite the surprise success of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who fought U.S. troops during the Iraq War.
The Sadr-led army has also been blamed for "the killing of thousands of Sunni Muslims in the sectarian violence that plagued Iraq in 2006 and 2007", says the BBC.
Populist Shiite religious scholar Moqtada Sadr Tuesday eyed a governing coalition after dealing a blow to both Iranian and USA influence with a shock election triumph that upended Iraqi politics. Sadr has ruled himself out of becoming prime minister.
"The recent proximity of Muqtada al-Sadr to Saudi Arabia has led the Sairoon Alliance to be partly considered as a group backed by the Saudis and ... to some extent means greater influence of Saudi Arabia [in Iraq] compared to its regional rivals", wrote Shargh on May 15, adding, "Sadr's supporters are opposed to Iranian influence and are vehemently anti-American".
Voter turnout was 44.52 per cent with 92 per cent of votes counted, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said on Sunday.
US embassy violence sparks fear Trump is roiling Mideast Read more
Subsequent within the working was the Conquest Alliance, made up of ex-fighters from primarily Iran-backed paramilitary models that battled IS, with outcomes placing them forward in 4 provinces and second in eight others. The commission gave no indication on when further results would be announced.
It may be Abadi, Reuters reports, who has signaled a willingness to work with Sadr to form a working government.
In the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, tensions peaked when the city governor, Rakan Al Jubouri, and the head of the Turkmen Front, Arshad Al Salehi, demanding a manual recount of the votes and reiterating the issues with the electronic polling machines.
Counting is still ongoing but Sadr's coalition - which is dominated by the Sadrist Movement and the Iraqi Communist Party - is believed to have won at least 54 of the 329-seat parliament, making it the largest political forces in the country, according to Al Jazeera. Since he did not run for a seat, he will not be eligible for the role.
An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained index finger before a national flag after having cast her vote in the parliamentary election, in the capital Baghdad's Karrada district. Almost 2,600 women ran for office this year.More news: Mercedes-AMG GT lineup adds S Roadster variant
More news: Cooper Says Dern Is A "Disgrace", But Will Take Catchweight Fight
More news: US Embassy's move to Jerusalem becomes reality Monday