Firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr forward in Iraq's parliamentary elections

Populist Cleric Sadr All but Wins Majority in Iraq Election

Near complete results showed Sadr scooping the most seats in parliament after his Marching Towards Reform alliance with Iraq's communists tapped popular anger over corruption and foreign meddling.

During the Iraq War, Sadr was a fierce opponent of US forces in the country, and his followers also clashed with Sunnis in sectarian fighting.

Sadr is one of the few Iraqi politicians who is opposed to both the presence of American troops in Iraq and the overbearing influence neighbouring Iran exercises over the country.

The main question for Iraqis, regional powers and Western allies now is who will become the next prime mister and form the government.

Al-Sadr commands his own militia that fought against IS militants, but he has disavowed any Iranian and USA influence in Iraq, and he has called for the full withdrawal of US troops. Of more than 2 million Iraqis displaced by the war, the majority are Sunnis.

Within the cleric's impoverished Sadr Metropolis neighbourhood in Baghdad residents mentioned they have been hoping for enhancements after the elections. Kirkuk's governor Rakan al-Jubouri has also called for a manual recount of votes, a call supported by Turkmen in the province as well.

S/MIME and PGP Email Encryption Flaws Affecting Millions Discovered by EFF
The newly found vulnerability has the potential to reveal encrypted emails in plaintext, including emails sent in the past. It recommended that users switch for the time being to secure messaging app Signal for sensitive communications.

Washington's preferred candidate, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, has been knocked into third place.

He announced Tuesday on state television that it was the responsibility of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to conduct the recount to determine accurate results, citing high-profile charges of vote tampering in the disputed province of Kirkuk. The Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia chief Hadi al-Amiri came in second with about 1.2 million votes and will control 47 seats.

Iraqi Shiite cleric and leader Moqtada al-Sadr puts his ballot through an electronic counting machine into a ballot box at poll station in the central holy city of Najaf.

Meanwhile, conservative Tasnim News Agency reported on May 15 that Sadr is seeking to reach a coalition with Ammar al-Hakim's Hikma (National Wisdom Movement) and Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National Alliance Coalition to form a "technocrat" government. Since he did not run for a seat, he will not be eligible for the role.

The end result throws open the race to develop into the subsequent premier, following a parliamentary vote on Saturday hit by report abstentions and widespread disillusionment.

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