Firebrand Nationalist Cleric Sadr Leads Iraq Election

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BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq – Moqtada al-Sadr was leading in Iraq’s parliamentary election with over half of the votes counted, the electoral commission said on Sunday, a surprise comeback for the powerful nationalist Shi’ite cleric who had been sidelined by Iran-backed rivals.

Shi’ite militia leader Hadi al-Amiri’s bloc, which is backed by Tehran, was in second place, according to the count of over 95 percent of the votes cast in 10 of Iraq’s 18 provinces.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appeared to be running third. Security and commission sources had earlier said he was leading the election, which was held on Saturday and is the first since the defeat of Islamic State militants inside the country.




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