TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Partial official results showed two Iraqi alliances leading in the Arab country’s parliamentary election.
According to AFP, the “Marching Towards Reform” alliance of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr was ahead in six of Iraq's 18 provinces and second in four others.
The “Conquest Alliance”, made up of ex-fighters from Iraq’s popular units that battled the Daesh terrorists, was ahead in four provinces and second in eight others.
The "Victory Alliance" of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi looked to have won in only one province.
If the surprise results are confirmed, it would throw open the race for Iraq's new premier, following the first elections after the defeat of Daesh.
The complex electoral arithmetic of the Iraqi system means that the final makeup of the parliament is still far from decided.
Several senior political figures had previously said that preliminary results put Abadi in the lead, on course to scoop 60 of the 329 parliament seats up for grabs.
Whatever the outcome, there looks set to be lengthy horse-trading between the main political forces before any government can be formed.
The ballot Saturday was hit by record abstentions, with only 44.5 percent of eligible voters heading to the polls in the lowest turnout since the US invasion of the Arab country in 2003.