The Iraqi News Agency announced that the "Sadr Movement" bloc led by Muqtada al-Sadr came first in the early legislative elections that were held on Sunday, winning 73 seats.

While the "Progress" bloc led by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi won 38 seats, followed by the "State of Law" bloc led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki with 37 seats.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Massoud Barzani, topped the preliminary official results in the regions of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The Iraqi constitution stipulates that the bloc that can gather 165 seats in the new parliament, consisting of 329 seats, can form the new government.

Al-Sadr needs to ally with other blocs to achieve a simple majority, ie 165 seats (50 + 1), to pass the next government.

From the celebrations of Sadr's supporters in the Iraqi capital after the announcement of the preliminary results of the elections (Reuters)

On Monday, the Iraqi Electoral Commission completed the announcement of the preliminary results of the legislative elections in all governorates of the country, which showed the progress of the Sadrist movement.

The Independent High Electoral Commission in Iraq also announced that the results of the manual counting and sorting matched the electronic ones, and the head of the commission, Jalil Adnan Khalaf, said that the commission would start receiving appeals from today, Tuesday, for a period of 3 days.

The final results are scheduled to be announced two weeks later, after the appeals are decided within 10 days, according to Khalaf.

The Electoral Commission published the names of the winners on its website, without indicating the political blocs to which they belong.

win speech

For his part, the leader of the Sadrist movement in Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr, stressed that "there is no sharing of power at the expense of the people."

He added, during a televised speech after the announcement of the preliminary results of the elections, that any interference in Iraqi affairs will have a diplomatic and perhaps popular response, according to him.

He also demanded the confiscation of arms in the hands of the state.

Al-Sadr said, "Praise be to God, who cherished the reform with its largest bloc, an Iraqi bloc, neither eastern nor western," in reference to his bloc's leadership and independence from both Iran and the United States.

Al-Sadr pledged in his speech to fight corruption, confine arms to the state and put an end to foreign interference in Iraq's affairs (Reuters)

Al-Sadr sent a message of reassurance to the US embassy in the capital, Baghdad, which has been subjected to repeated missile attacks for months, saying, "All embassies are welcome unless they interfere in Iraqi affairs and form the government."

Al-Sadr's alliance had previously issued the results of the last parliamentary elections in 2018, but was unable to form a coalition that would allow it to form a government, so it was formed among all the winning blocs, and positions were distributed to the main components, according to the accepted principle of quotas.

Participation rate

The Electoral Commission announced that the results of the manual counting and the electronic count matched, and said that the initial participation rate in the elections that took place on Sunday amounted to 41%, the lowest since 2005, according to the Anatolia News Agency.

Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that the lowest participation rate in the elections was recorded in the capital, Baghdad, where it did not exceed 32%, while the highest participation rate was recorded in Dohuk Governorate in the Kurdistan region, which amounted to 54%.

Salah al-Din governorate in the north of the country came in second place, with a percentage of 48%, according to the Electoral Commission.

More than 3,200 candidates representing 21 alliances and 109 parties, along with independents, competed in these elections to win 329 seats in Parliament.

Sunday’s elections came a year ahead of their scheduled date after widespread protests in Iraq, starting in early October 2019 and lasting for more than a year, and overthrowing the previous government, led by Adel Abdul-Mahdi, in late 2019.

The protesters denounced the influential political class accused of corruption and dependency on the outside, and demanded political reforms, starting with the abolition of the quota system based on the distribution of positions among the main components, namely Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.