Tue, 25 Jan 2022

BAGHDAD, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday held a meeting with his political rivals who reject the results of the Oct. 10 elections, in an attempt to find a solution to the country's political deadlock.

A statement issued by the Iraqi Coordination Framework, an umbrella group of Shiite parties rejecting the elections' results, said after the meeting that the group's leaders received al-Sadr at the home of the al-Fateh Alliance leader, Hadi al-Amiri, to discuss outstanding issues and the latest developments in the current situation.

The statement did not mention whether the meeting discussed the formation of a new government. Ahmed Al-Mutairi, head of the political office of the Sadrist Movement, said in a separate statement that al-Sadr announced during the meeting that he intends to form a national majority government.

Al-Sadr stressed that if the leaders of the Coordination Framework wanted to join the national majority government, they should hand over the weapons of their armed groups to the Hashd Shaabi forces and must hold the corrupt officials accountable, said Al-Mutairi.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced the final results of the country's snap parliamentary elections, showing that the Sadrist Movement in the lead with 73 seats and the Sunni alliance, known as Taqaddum (progress), in the second place with 37 seats.

The State of Law Coalition, headed by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, was the third with 33 seats, while the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), headed by Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, clinched the fourth place with 31 seats.

Among others, the results showed the al-Fateh Coalition (Conquest), which includes some Iranian-backed Shiite militias within the Hashd Shaabi forces, garnered 17 seats, down from 47 seats in the past 2018 elections.

The Imtidad Movement, of which the members were part of the 2019 massive protests against corruption and mismanagement, won nine seats.

Some political parties unsatisfied with the results have denounced the elections as "manipulated," vowing not to accept the "fabricated results."

Followers of the political parties rejecting the election results recently took to the streets to hold protests in many Iraqi cities, including the capital Baghdad.

The Iraqi parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for 2022, were held in advance in response to months of protests against corruption, poor governance, and lack of public services.

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