Middle East Most Read

Tue 12 October 2021:

Hadi al-Amiri, one of the most powerful pro-Iranian figures in Iraq, has rejected the results of Iraq’s elections as “fabricated”, according to the Baghdad-based pro-Iranian TV channel al-Aahd.

“We will not accept these fabricated results, whatever the cost,” the channel cited him as saying on Tuesday on its Telegram messaging account.

Iran-backed parties with links to militia groups accused of killing some of the nearly 600 people who died in mass protests in 2019 took a blow in the election, winning less seats than in the previous vote, in 2018.

Shia Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s party was the biggest winner in the election held on Sunday, according to initial results.

The vote also highlighted the broad boycott of the elections by Iraqis, especially young people.

But analysts have been surprised by the extend that Iran-linked political parties have suffered in the poll, with the Fatah Alliance – a coalition of militia-linked groups with strong ties to Tehran, getting just 16 seats, compared to their 2018 performance of securing 48.

Preliminary results in the governorates of southern Iraq revealed that the October uprising activists won up to ten seats in Dhi Qar, Najaf and Diwaniyah. It is expected that the independents, who reject the influence of the dominant parties in the political scene, will form an influential bloc within the Iraqi parliament that could face off with the dominant blocs.

Sunni parliament speaker Mohammed Al Halbousi’s Taqaddum coalition won 38 seats, Iraq’s state news agency reported, making it the second largest in parliament.

Kurdish parties won 61 seats, the results showed, including 32 for the Kurdistan Democratic Party which dominates the government of the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, and 15 for its rival the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, which has historically had good relations with Iran-linked parties.

A number of outlying parties, including the Kurdish New Generation Party, the reformist Imtidad Movement and a host of independent candidates – just some of the 3,249 candidates competing for parliament – will further complicate government formation as new blocs emerge to challenge the Sadrist bloc.

The results of the elections, which were boycotted by more than 60 percent of Iraqi voters, according to the figures of the High Elections Commission, showed that the Shia public in Iraq no longer trusts religious parties. It also showed that the call of Supreme Leader Ali al-Sistani to come out and  vote was not heeded.

Sistani had called on Iraq’s estimated 25 million voters to choose between more than 3,200 candidates. But the initial turnout rate was put at about 41 percent of the more than 22 million registered voters, according to the High Elections Commission figures.

But the spokesman for the Iraqi opposition forces, Bassem Al-Sheikh, doubted the accuracy of these figures.





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