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Iraq's election results put militias between rock and hard place

Political parties affiliated with Iraqi militias faced significant defeat, while their ally Nouri al-Maliki earned a remarkable victory.
Judge Jalil Adnan Khalaf, chairman of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission, speaks in Baghdad on Oct. 12, 2021.

Preliminary election results were a shock to political parties affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and associated militias. Meanwhile, the historical ally of these parties, Nouri al-Maliki, earned a remarkable victory. This puts them in a difficult position, as accepting the results means conceding defeat and rejecting the results means undermining their ally's victory.

Updated preliminary results show the PMU-affiliated political parties, the Fatah Alliance and its affiliates on the losing side. It indicates a major reduction for the PMU in the number of parliamentary seats, from the previously 48 seats held in 2018 to merely 20 seats. Five of those 20 seats are for Hadi al-Amiri’s Badr Organization; 10 are for Qais Khazali’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq; and five are for other small blocs such as the Sanad al-Watani bloc represented by the commander of Jund al-Imam, Ahmad al-Assadi.

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