Iraqi Lawmakers Backed By Sadr Win Vote As Rule Hangs in Balance
(Bloomberg) -- Lawmakers backed by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr came first in Iraq’s parliamentary elections in a vote that marked an early test for Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s 17-month-old government.
Sadr’s bloc won at least 73 seats out of 329, state-run TV channel Iraqiya said late on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether the results will allow al-Kadhimi to get a second term.
Al-Kadhimi’s fate is important because he has personally brokered talks between Shiite power Iran and Saudi Arabia’s Sunni monarchy, whose rivalry has shaken parts of the Middle East. He’s also sought to prevent international oil companies exiting Iraq, and secured a $27 billion investment agreement from French energy firm TotalEnergies SE.
The former intelligence chief emerged in 2020 as a compromise candidate with the backing of Sadr, some Sunni moderates and ethnic Iraqi Kurds. He will need that support again to continue as premier, and he did not personally contest the ballot.
Iraq Sadr-Backed List First in Polls, Commission Tally Shows
It might take months of talks before a new coalition government is installed. The wrangling will most likely delay resumed talks with the International Monetary Fund for a loan of up to $4 billion.
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