177 politicians from 16 electoral lists make new majority bloc in Iraq

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An Iraqi political alliance announced on Sunday contains 177 lawmakers from 16 electoral lists, making it the majority bloc in the newly elected parliament, an updated document published by the state news agency showed.

Middle East Eye

Sixteen Iraqi political groups, including those led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, announced an alliance on Sunday that will be the largest bloc in the newly elected parliament.

The alliance includes 177 lawmakers from 16 electoral lists, a document published by the state news agency showed. It is now in pole position to form the country’s next government, Reuters reported.

Iraq’s parliament contains a total of 329 seats, meaning the alliance will have an outright majority. Parliament is set to convene for the first time on Monday, when it will elect a new speaker and launch the process of forming a government.

The new alliance also includes the blocs of Vice President Ayad Allawi and Shia Muslim cleric Ammar al-Hakim, as well as several Sunni Muslim lawmakers and ones representing Turkmen, Yazidi, Mandaean and Christian minorities.

It does not include Kurdish groups. Since Saddam Hussein was toppled in the 2003 US invasion, power has been shared between Iraq‘s three largest ethnic-sectarian components. The prime minister is a Shia Arab, the speaker of parliament a Sunni Arab and the president a Kurd.

Iraqis voted in May in their first parliamentary election since the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) group’s self-declared caliphate, but a contentious recount process delayed the announcement of final results until last month.

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