BAGHDAD – The latest on Iraq's national elections (all times local):
Iraq's national elections commission says Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has taken the largest share of votes in the province that includes the formerly Islamic State-held city of Mosul.
It is the only province so far to give a plurality of votes to al-Abadi, who has performed poorly in this year's parliamentary elections. The elections were held Saturday, with low turnout.
Nineveh is Iraq's second largest province after Baghdad, which went to a list organized by the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr said in Tweet he was open to forming a coalition with al-Abadi to form a new government for Iraq.
Al-Sadr's list is leading the popular vote count, followed by a list linked to Iraq's predominantly Shiite paramilitary forces that fought alongside Iraq's army in the war against IS militants.
The elections commission has announced results from 16 of Iraq's 19 provinces. It says it will announce the remaining results Tuesday.
Widespread disillusionment with Iraq's current political class appears to have helped influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr become the early front-runner in national elections marked by record low turnout.
Partial returns of the 2018 vote — the first since Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group — were announced late Sunday by the Iraqi electoral commission and put al-Sadr's political alliance in the lead in four provinces, including Baghdad.
The election came as the country deals with the disenfranchisement of the country's Sunni minority. Of more than 2 million Iraqis displaced by the war, the majority are Sunnis. Also at issue is the influence of Iran on the country: Iranian-backed Shiite militias who played a key role in defeating IS and were allied with the Shiite-led Baghdad government made significant electoral gains.