Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on Monday for all political blocs to respect the results of his nation’s parliamentary election and said he was ready to work with the winning blocs to form a government free of corruption.
“We are ready to work and cooperate in forming the strongest government for Iraq, free of corruption,” Abadi said in a live televised address.
Nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States, led in Iraq’s parliamentary election with more than half the votes counted on Monday, the electoral commission said, in a surprise turn of fortune for the Shi’ite leader.
In the first election since Islamic State was defeated in the country, Shi’ite militia chief Hadi al-Amiri’s bloc, which is backed by Iran, was in second place, while Abadi, once seen as the front-runner, trailed in third position.
The preliminary results were based on a count of more than 95 percent of the votes cast in 10 of Iraq’s 18 provinces.