ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s parliamentary election winner Muqtada al-Sadr and current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Saturday that their political blocs would form an alliance.
Abadi visited the Shia cleric in Najaf where Sadr lives before the two held a joint press conference where they announced the alliance.
The two leaders said the alliance between the two political blocs would “cross sectarian and ethnic divisions,” according to Reuters.
Sadr’s Sairoon Coalition came first in the controversial May 12 elections while Abadi’s al-Nasr (Victory) Coalition finished third.
Sadr said the joint coalition aims to combat corruption and strengthen the Iraqi army as well as the formation of the new Iraqi government.
Earlier this month, Sairoon and Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi’s al-Fatih Coalition, who finished runners-up in the polls, said they had reached an agreement to create the largest alliance in the next Iraqi Parliament.
Sadr met with Fatih leader Hadi al-Amiri in Najaf to discuss the developments in the Iraqi political process, including the formation of the next government.
Speaking to the press following his meeting with Amiri, Sadr said the coalition with Fatih is within the national framework and will maintain the tripartite alliance, referring to Sairoon’s partnership with al-Hikma and the National Alliance, led by Ammar al-Hakim and Iraqi Vice-President Ayad Allawi respectively.
It was not immediately clear if Sairoon’s partnership with Nasr would include a larger alliance with Fatih.
Meanwhile, the two leading parties in the Kurdistan Region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) say they will go to Baghdad as a unified front.
The results of the Iraqi elections are currently being manually recounted following allegations of fraud and are expected to delay the formation of the next government.