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Iraqi Election Front-Runner Moktada al-Sadr Courts Partners to Govern

Margaret Coker writes for The New York Times:

The front-runner in Iraqi elections, the populist Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, wasted little time trying to prove to potential allies that he is serious about shaking up the government and cleaning up corruption as he worked to cobble together a governing coalition.

His spokesman, Saleh al-Obeidi, said in an interview in Baghdad on Tuesday that Mr. Sadr’s movement is seeking allies who agree to its three-plank manifesto: ending the practice of awarding ministries on sectarian quotas, fighting corruption and allowing independent technocrats to manage key government agencies.

“Sai’id Moktada wants to bring Iraq out of crisis and out of misery,” Mr. Obeidi said, using an honorific. “We want to start a whole new way of doing things.”

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