Pro-Iranian groups reject early election results in Iraq

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Pro-Iranian parties and armed groups have denounced early results from Iraq’s elections as manipulation and a scam.

Sunday’s parliamentary election, the fifth in the war-scarred country since the US-led invasion and overthrow of ruler Saddam Hussein in 2003, was marked by a record low turnout of 41 percent.

According to preliminary results from the electoral commission, the biggest winner appeared to be the movement of religious scholar and political maverick Muqtada al-Sadr, which increased its share to 73 of the assembly’s 329 seats.

Losses were booked by pro-Iranian parties with links to the armed groups that make up the fighter network known as Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces.

The Fateh Alliance, previously the second largest bloc in parliament, suffered a sharp decline from 48 to about a dozen seats.