Firebrand cleric Sadr on course to win Iraq election

Firebrand cleric Sadr on course to win Iraq electionBy Ahmed Aboulenein BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Powerful nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was leading in Iraq’s parliamentary election with more than half the votes counted, the electoral commission said, a surprise comeback for a Shi’ite leader who had been sidelined by Iran-backed rivals. Shi’ite militia chief Hadi al-Amiri’s bloc, which is backed by Tehran, was in second place, according to the count of more than 95 percent of the votes cast in 10 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. The preliminary results are a setback for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who, despite entering the election as the apparent frontrunner, appeared to be running third.



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