Without Muqtada al Sadr, Iraq's kingmaker, no coalition government can be formed, experts say. And if it is formed, Sunni bloc’s Halbousi and Kurdish leader Barzani are likely to be in the new government.
Iran-backed groups have lost significant ground in Iraq but Tehran still has some supporters to help it keep its influence over the neighbouring country.
Moqtada al Sadr's party is the biggest winner in the Iraqi election, increasing the number of seats the Muslim cleric holds in parliament, according to initial results, officials, and a spokesperson for the Sadrist Movement.
With a little confidence in the country's political system, many ordinary Iraqis are likely to stay away from the ballot box while Shia-led parties like Muqtada al Sadr’s group are expected to dominate next month’s polls.
People continue to protest against a political system that rewards loyalty, not merit.
At least six people were killed and dozens wounded as supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr storm anti-government protest camp in southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya.
Iraq's prime minister-designate announced his withdrawal from the post after failing to secure parliamentary support for his Cabinet selection.
Women marched through a tunnel and spilt out into Iraqi capital Baghdad's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the youth-dominated movement in a country where vast regions remain socially conservative.
Loyals of populist cleric Muqtada al Sadr storm an anti-government protest camp in southern Najaf city leading to deaths and injuries to at least 20 people, medics say.
In capital Baghdad and southern cities, demonstrators chant "we reject Allawi" and hold posters of the new PM's face with a red cross through it a day after Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi's appointment.
Meanwhile, a least one anti-government protester was shot dead in Baghdad and another in the flashpoint southern city of Nasiriyah as security forces use live rounds and tear gas to try to flush protesters out of squares and streets.
Violence has resurged in the capital and Shia-majority south this week as anti-government activists ramped up their road closures and sit-ins while security forces sought to snuff out the campaign.
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