Iraqi religious scholar Moqtada al-Sadr attends to cast his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Najaf, Iraq May 12, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani/File Photo
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Populist Shiite religious scholar Moqtada Sadr Tuesday eyed a governing coalition after dealing a blow to both Iranian and U.S. influence with a shock election triumph that upended Iraqi politics.Near complete results showed Sadr scooping the most seats in parliament after his Marching Towards Reform alliance with Iraq's communists tapped popular anger over corruption and foreign meddling.Tallies put the Conquest Alliance of pro-Iranian former paramilitary fighters who helped battle Daesh in second place, followed by incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's bloc.Suleimani has reportedly called for a union between Abadi's bloc, the Conquest Alliance of former anti-Daesh commander Ameri and former premier Nouri al-Maliki.Abadi and Maliki are bitter rivals despite coming from the establishment Dawa party that has dominated politics in post-Saddam Iraq.
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