President Erdoğan congratulates al-Sadr on Iraqi election victory

President Erdoğan congratulates al-Sadr on Iraqi election victory

ANKARA
President Erdoğan congratulates al-Sadr on Iraqi election victory

Turkey's president late on May 25 congratulated Muqtada al-Sadr on the phone over his coalition's victory in Iraq's general elections.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wished al-Sadr well on forming the next government in Iraq, and also highlighted Turkey's support for Iraq's unity, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, citing unnamed presidential sourcess.

Saying that some voting irregularities took place in Iraqi Turkmen areas in Kirkuk, Erdoğan also asked al-Sadr's support for investigating the incidents.

Turkmen in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk have continued to stage demonstrations against the results of the country’s May 12 parliamentary polls.

Each day this week, Turkmen have gathered in downtown Kirkuk and chanted slogans denouncing the “fraud” and “vote-rigging” which they say marred the elections.

On May 21, the electoral commission announced that it had annulled all ballots cast in 103 polling stations in the Baghdad, Anbar, Nineveh, Saladin, and Erbil provinces.

How much the move affected final poll results, however, is unclear, the agency reported.

According to those results, Muqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's Victory bloc (42 seats).

The Erbil-based Kurdistan Democratic Party, meanwhile, picked up 25 seats in the assembly.

Final results were announced several days after Iraqis cast ballots in the country's first parliamentary election since 2014.

Preliminary results had been announced days earlier, but widespread fraud allegations had reportedly delayed a final vote count.

Muqtada al-Sadr, Erdoğan, Turkey, Iraq, diplomacy