Surprising Lead of Al-Sadr Candidates in Iraqi Elections

A surprising setback found in the Iraqi election results for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, with a political list backed by Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr. On Sunday night, the election officials have announced results for 10 out of 19 Iraqi provinces. The candidates of Al-Sadr are leading or at second place in almost all of them. The initially announced results include Baghdad and the Sadr candidates have won more seats in Baghdad than Al-Abadi. A political bloc headed by Shiite militia leader Hadi Al-Amiri has shown its power and won more seats than Al-Abadi. Al-Abadi is stronger in the areas liberated last year from Islamic State of Nineveh province and Mosul by the U.S-backed Iraqi forces in Nineveh province and Mosul. The remaining results might change the scenario of election results. It is important that 2nd place of Sadr political bloc will have a significant amount of pressure on the new Iraqi government.

Abadi and Sadr

Current results have shown that Al-Abadi is at first place and then Sadr, Amiri and Maliki in the Iraqi elections. Al-Sadr doesn’t have a direct political role, but he shifted his weight on the political alliance of his followers, communists, and secular candidates. He also instructed his followers to choose efficient and qualified candidates regardless of their religious beliefs. Point to be noted that Mehdi Army militia of Al-Sadr battled U.S forces in 2003 after the U.S invasion of Iraq. His Mehdi militia also fought the Iraqi army for getting control of Basra. He dissolved his army and converted it into a social organization. He later reestablished a paramilitary force in order to protect Shiite shrines. He strongly refueled anger among Iraqi people over poverty, shortage of jobs, unsatisfied public services, and massive corruption within Iraqi political and administrative blocs. Al-Sadr belongs to an honored and worshiped family of Shiite religious scholars. He cast his vote at a polling station in a poor district of Najaf. Al-Sadr has recently made efforts to reach Sunni Muslims and other religious groups in Iraq.

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