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Turkey's Erdogan congratulates Sadr on election performance

Moqtada al-Sadr
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has congratulated prominent Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on his Sayirun alliance's victory in Iraq's May 12 parliamentary election.

Erdogan wished Sadr well as coalition-building toward a new government begins in Baghdad, according to Turkey's Anadolu Agency, citing unnamed presidential sources.

The Turkish president noted Ankara's support for Iraqi unity during the telephone call late on Friday night, amid reports of voting irregularities, including in disputed and diverse Kirkuk province, where Turkmen won three seats and have staged some protests and hunger strikes.
The Turkmen Front won three seats in Kirkuk. The PUK picked up six seats there. Kirkuk has 13 seats in total — including one within the minority quota system for Christians. Shiite lists took the remaining three seats.

There was no immediate readout from Sadr's office.

Iraq held parliamentary elections on May 12. Sadr, although not a candidate, headed the Sayirun list — an alliance between his Sadrist Movement followers and the Community Party of Iraq. 
Sayirun winning 54 seats will give Sadr leverage, as 165 seats are needed to form a coalition.

Last week, Iraq's election body announced it was throwing out ballots from 103 stations in Baghdad, Erbil, Anbar, Saladin and Nineveh provinces. It is not expected that annulments will have a major impact on the overall election outcome.



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