Iraq prime minister wins vote in Mosul province

Iraq prime minister wins vote in Mosul province

Iraq prime minister wins vote in Mosul province

He has extended a hand to a wide spread of parties - including the bloc of current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that lies in third place according to latest results.

Sadr has led two uprisings against USA forces in Iraq and is one of the few Shiite leaders to distance himself from Iran.

Al-Abadi directed Iraqi forces to retake the city late a year ago after the Kurdish regional administration organized a referendum on independence that controversially included Kirkuk; federal forces moved in with little bloodshed as Kurdish forces withdrew.

According to Tasnim, if Fatah comes to terms with Nasr and former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition, an inclusive coalition can be formed to choose the prime minister.

The race to become Iraq's next prime minister appears wide open as Muqtada al Sadr's alliance looked to be in the lead after the first elections since the defeat of Daesh.

Any attempt to form a government that would threaten the influence Iran has built up in the 15 years since the fall of Saddam Hussein looks certain to face opposition from Tehran.

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Voter turnout was at a low 44 percent, 15 percent lower than the turnout in the 2014 parliamentary elections. It included full returns from only 10 of the country's 19 provinces, including the provinces of Baghdad and Basra.

As if heightened tensions in Syria and Yemen and increased divisions in the U.S-Iran and Iran-Israel relations were not enough, a surprise-albeit still preliminary-election result in OPEC's second-largest producer Iraq could add further tensions to the Saudi-Iran rivalry and could turn Iraq in the next battle for influence in the Middle East, Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told CNBC on Tuesday.

Reuters calculations based on the document showed Sadr had won the nationwide popular vote with over 1.3 million votes and gained around 54 of parliament's 329 seats.

But after much manoeuvring, Allawi was eventually bested by Nuri al-Maliki, as Tehran helped engineer a union between two leading Shiite blocs to give him more seats.

The remaining uncounted ballots, mostly from Iraqis overseas, the security services, and internally displaced people voting in camps and elsewhere, might change the final seat tallies but only marginally. Since the first elections following Saddam's ouster, the Shiite majority has held the position of prime minister, while the Kurds have held the presidency and the Sunnis have held the post of parliament speaker. The other winning blocks, though, will have to approve his nomination. Iran has publicly stated it will not allow his bloc to govern.

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