Iraq Votes In Populist Cleric As New Head Of State

Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr carry his image as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr carry his image as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq on Monday, May 14, 2018. AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr carry his image as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr carry his image as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq on Monday, May 14, 2018. AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Iraq Votes In Populist Cleric As New Head Of State

Iraqi Shi’a cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, came away as the surprise winner in Iraq elections, held on May 12, 2018. Al-Sadr became an international name in the early 2000s during the U.S.-led coalition war on Iraq. He rallied Iraq’s Shi’a majority to take control of the country. Al-Sadr’s “Mahdi Army” frequently attacked U.S. forces at the time. Iraqis responded overwhelmingly to al-sadr’s anti-corruption platform. Islamic Dawa, the party of current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, underperformed. The BBC’s Arabic correspondent, Rami Ruhayem, was in Iraq covering the elections. He’ll give us analysis on why Iraqis soundly rejected their current government.