Iraq, parliamentary elections: abstention and anti-system forces win

The populist movement led by the radical Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in the lead. His supporters take to the streets of the capital in celebration. Party of outgoing premier al-Abadi, protagonist of the fight against ISIS comes third. Low turnout, with a figure of 44.5%. There were no serious incidents.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Anti-system "populist" movements and mass abstention far superior to the past (and predictions) have emerged as the ‘winners’ in elections held last May 12 in Iraq. This is according to the first, partial assessment of the vote for the renewal of the 329 members of the Council of Representatives (the unicameral Parliament).

It was the first vote since the government victory against the jihadist Islamic State group (IS, ex Isis), which for over two years controlled almost half of the national territory. The first official figure is related to turnout, which stood at around 44.5%: a net decrease compared to the electoral consultations of the recent past.

The vote on 12 May took place in the majority of cases on a regular basis and no serious incidents or attacks were reported. Final results should be issued in the late evening today or early tomorrow. However, due to the complex system of allocations, it will take some time to know the names of the 329 deputies.

With the vast majority of ballots scrutinized, however, the success of the faction led by the radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr, rival [within the Shiite community] over the outgoing premier Haidar al-Abadi, appears to be increasingly clear.

His supporters have been celebrating in the streets of the Sadr City district of Baghdad, where up to three million people live. The radical Shiite leader had taken a leading role in the aftermath of the fall of former Raiz Saddam Hussein. His rise was however strongly opposed at the time by the Ayatollah al-Sistani, the most important religious figure in the country. (DS)