Forming Government Far Off After Iraq Election

Forming Government Far Off After Iraq ElectionForming Government Far Off After Iraq Election

The final results of Iraq's elections confirmed Saturday a breakthrough for nationalist cleric Muqtada Sadr, who was in the lead, ahead of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. But the possibilities for alliances to form a coalition government remain wide open.

None of the three leading groups won more than 55 of the 329 seats up for grabs in parliament at the May 12 vote, which saw record high abstentions with just 44.52% turnout—the lowest since the first multiparty elections in 2005, AFP reported.

In a system calibrated to divide parliament after the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein following the American-led invasion of 2003, Muqtada Sadr's Marching Towards Reform alliance is far from assured of governing Iraq for the next four years.


Sadr, who has ruled himself out of becoming prime minister, is looking to be the kingmaker and to cobble together a technocrat government from a dozen parties.

But despite leading the tally, his alliance falls short of a majority and it will take lengthy wrangling to forge a coalition. Negotiations to form a coalition government began as soon as the vote ended a week ago.

"Last week was the agreement of principles, and now we enter the phase of forming coalitions," Iraqi political commentator Hicham al-Hachemi told AFP.

The alliance between the populist Shia preacher and Iraq's communists won 54 seats.

In second place is the Conquest Alliance led by Hadi al-Ameri, made up of ex-fighters from paramilitary units that battled the self-styled Islamic State terror group, which won 47 seats, ahead of the Victory Alliance, headed by Abadi, which had 42.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints