Iraq election: Prime minister trails rivals

The bloc led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is trailing in third place in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, according to partial results.

With more than half of votes counted, a nationalist alliance between Shia Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr and mostly secular groups is in the lead.

It is followed by a bloc linked to Iranian-backed Shia paramilitaries who fought the Islamic State (IS) group.

The elections are the first since Iraq declared victory over IS in December.

The final results are due to be announced later on Monday, triggering what are expected to be lengthy negotiations to form a new coalition government.

The US has called for an “inclusive government, responsive to the needs of all Iraqis”.

Some 5,000 American troops are in Iraq supporting local forces in the battle against IS, a Sunni Muslim jihadist group.

What exactly do the results show?

On Sunday night, officials from Iraq’s election commission announced the almost full returns from 10 of Iraq’s 19 provinces, including Baghdad and Basra.

Media captionFemale Iraqi MP, Dr Hanan al-Fatlawi, says she’s been threatened because of her work

According to these early results:

If Mr Sadr and his allies maintain their position, it will represent a stunning comeback for the cleric, the BBC’s Martin Patience reports from Baghdad.

In contrast, our correspondent adds, the early results are a setback for Mr…

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News

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