(MENAFN) The alliance of influential Shi'ite nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has captured 54 parliamentary seats, making it the winner of the first Iraqi election since IS defeat, according to final results released by the country's electoral commission on May Saturday.
"Your vote is an honor for us," Sadr said in statement following the announcement of the official results.
In second place is the Conquest Alliance, made up of ex-fighters from mainly Iran-backed paramilitary units that battled IS, which won 47 seats, ahead of the Victory Alliance, headed by Abadi, which had 42.
Sadr, an anti-American firebrand with a large following among Baghdad's urban poor, was once leader of the Mahdi Army, which battled U.S. forces in 2003.
The victory for Sadr's bloc marks a dramatic return to relevance for the cleric, who had been sidelined by Iran-backed rivals in recent years.
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