Iranian-backed opposition and US favourite Haider al-Abadi fail to inspire voters

Under grey skies, along empty streets, Iraqis trickled to the polls on Saturday unconvinced that the leaders on offer can finally stabilise a country exhausted by war and dysfunction.

Before the voting, Iraq’s fourth national election since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein had been hailed as its most instructive yet, a time when a long elusive calm could finally take root, now that the Islamic State terror group has been curbed.

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