As former United States foe gains, Mattis 'stands with' Iraq election result

As former United States foe gains, Mattis 'stands with' Iraq election result

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani was in Baghdad for talks with Shiite leaders to enforce the "Iranian choice" on the formation of a new government after the announcement of the Iraqi parliamentary election results.

The initiative could trump Sadr's own coalition-building efforts but it risks angering the cleric's supporters who are yearning for a clampdown on corruption among establishment figures.

Meanwhile, the favourites entering the elections, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's Victory Alliance only managed to come first in the northern province of Nineveh, which was liberated by Iraqi forces from ISIS militants at the end of past year.

Seats in parliament will be allocated proportionately to coalitions once all votes are counted. The government should be formed within 90 days of the official results.

Only 44.52 percent of about 24 million people eligible to vote participated in the consultation, a decrease of 15 percentage points, compared to 2014. It included full returns from only 10 of the country's 19 provinces, including the provinces of Baghdad and Basra.

The electoral commission said it would release the remainder of the results on Tuesday.

A document provided to Reuters by a candidate in Baghdad that was also circulating among journalists and analysts showed results from all 18 provinces. More than 2 million people are displaced by war, a lot of them Sunnis.

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He was followed by Amiri with more than 1.2 million votes, translating into around 47 seats, and Abadi with more than 1 million votes and about 42 seats.

"Iran perceives Sadr as an unstable entity. and the United States does not see him as an ally. there are unpredictable scenarios now surrounding the formation of the new government".

The news agency also claimed that Sadr's coalition is planning to name the current governor of Maysan province, Ali Dawai Lazem, prime minister. The other winning blocks, though, will have to approve his nomination.

A similar fate could befall Sadr.

Political sources told AFP that two meetings have been held under Iranian guidance to bring together several political blocs.

"We will not allow liberals and communists to govern in Iraq", Ali Akbar Velayati, top adviser to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in February.

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