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While the post-election narrative in Iraq has focused on Moqtada Al-Sadr’s enhanced position as political kingmaker, the former firebrand’s relative success in the 12 May poll reveals more about the growing gap between political elites and the people they are meant to represent than any putative radicalisation of the electorate under Shia clerical leadership. Sadr’s Sairoon (On the Move) electoral bloc secured more votes than any other faction in the election, taking 54 out of 329 seats – albeit on a record low turnout of just 44.5% of registered voters.
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