Test of Strength Between Sadr, Soleimani in Iraq

Evarado Alatorre
May 17, 2018

Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose Sairoon coalition (Marching Towards Reform) is emerging as the victor in Iraq's elections, invited Wednesday leaders of parliamentary blocs to meet ahead of forming a government of technocrats.

The parliamentary elections which took place on Saturday, are the first after defeating the Daesh and the United States withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.

According to Transparency International Iraq has been one of the world's most corrupt countries for the past few years.

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Iran, which has significant influence in Iraq, publicly stated before the election that it would not allow Sadr's bloc of Shias, communists and other secular groups to govern.

Gen. Qassem Soleimani is holding talks with politicians in Baghdad to promote the formation of a new Iraqi Cabinet which would have Iran's approval, two people familiar with the political process underway in Iraq said Wednesday.

But Sadr's alliance tries to cross the ethnic and religious divide. Incumbent Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, who came in third place despite having driven the war against Daesh, has expressed plans to work with Sadr, giving Iraqis hope.

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