In this Monday, May 14, 2018 file photo, supporters of Shiite religious scholar Muqtada al-Sadr, carry his image as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)
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Nationalist religious scholar Moqtada al-Sadr, a longtime adversary of the United States, led in Iraq's parliamentary election with more than half the votes counted Monday, the electoral commission said, in a surprise turn of fortune for the Shiite leader.Unlike Abadi, a rare ally of both the United States and Iran, Sadr is an opponent of both of the countries, which have wielded influence in Iraq since a U.S.-led invasion toppled Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 and ushered the Shiite majority to power.Sadr has led two uprisings against U.S. forces in Iraq and is one of the few Shiite leaders to distance himself from Iran.Sadr and Amiri both came in first in four of the 10 provinces where votes were counted, but the scholar's bloc won significantly more votes in the capital, Baghdad, which has the highest number of seats.Reuters could not independently verify the document's authenticity but the results showed Sadr had won the nationwide popular vote, with more than 1.3 million votes, and gained 54 of 329 seats in Parliament.Sadr's father, highly respected Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, was murdered in 1999 for defying Saddam Hussein.
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