• Sitting PM in third place with pro-Iran figure in second
  • Protracted negotiations to form government expected

A political bloc led by populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the US who also opposes Iranian influence in Iraq, has been confirmed as the winner of the country’s parliamentary election, the electoral commission said on Saturday.

Sadr himself cannot become prime minister as he did not run in the election, though his bloc’s victory puts him in a position to have a strong say in negotiations. His Sairoon electoral list captured 54 parliamentary seats.

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Read More Iraq: anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc confirmed as election winners

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