Iraqis vote for new parliament in hopes of change | Government-and-politics
The 2018 election saw only 44% of eligible voters vote, a record. The results have been widely disputed. We fear a similar or even lower participation this time.
Iraq’s highest Shiite dignitary and widely respected authority Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for broad participation, saying voting remains the best way for Iraqis to participate in building their country’s future .
In the Shiite holy city of Najaf, the influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr voted, surrounded by local journalists. He then drove off in a white sedan without commenting. Al-Sadr, a populist with immense numbers of Shiite working-class Iraqi followers, won the 2018 election, winning a majority of the seats.
Groups drawn from the majority of Iraqi Shiite Muslims dominate the electoral landscape, with a close race expected between the Sairoon list of al-Sadr and the Fatah Alliance, led by paramilitary leader Hadi al-Ameri, who came second in the elections. previous elections.
The Fatah Alliance is made up of parties affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coordination group of mainly pro-Iranian Shiite militias that rose to prominence during the war against the extremist Sunni group Islamic State. It includes some of the toughest pro-Iran factions, such as the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia. Al-Sadr, a black-turbaned nationalist leader, is also close to Iran, but publicly rejects his political influence.