Iraq Ex-Premier Jaafari Wins Sadr ‘Referendum’

jos_iraq_news-254x300 Supporters of Sayyed Moktada as-Sadr have rejected the main candidates for prime minister, preferring the ex-premier Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the results of an unofficial ballot showed on Wednesday. According to the Shiite News, Former prime minister al-Jaafari garnered nearly a quarter of the votes in the two-day referendum organized by the Sadrist party. The poll has no legal standing and its results come as sitting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and ex-premier Iyad Allawi battle to form a government following Iraq’s general election last month.Neither leader holds enough seats to claim a parliamentary majority. Figures released by ballot organizers showed that Maliki, who succeeded al-Jaafari, came a distant fourth, followed by Allawi, who was Jaafari’s predecessor as Iraqi prime minister. Jaafari won 24 percent of the 1.8 million ballots cast, and 23 percent went to Jaafar al-Sadr, the son of Sayyed Mohammad Baqer as-Sadr, the founder of Islamic Dawa Party and was murdered in 1980 by the executed  president Saddam Hussein . Maliki garnered 10 percent of the vote and Allawi won nine percent, in the nationwide vote held on April 2-3.Qusay Abdul Wahab al-Suhail, a Sadrist MP whose name did not actually appear on the ballot, was backed by 17 percent of voters, who wrote in his name. Jaafari was Iraq’s prime minister from April 2005 to May 2006.Although the plebiscite was nominally open to all Iraqis, the vast majority of voters were believed to have been Sadrist backers. In the March 7 general election, Maliki’s State of Law Alliance came second behind Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc, with 89 seats to the latter’s 91. But both camps fell well short of the 163 seats required for a parliamentary majority.


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