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Iraq’s Shiite militias try to convert military victory into political power

Scott Peterson writes for The Christian Science Monitor:

At the entrance to one of Baghdad’s biggest amusement parks is an election banner for Hadi al-Amiri, senior commander of the mainly Shiite militias that helped vanquish Islamic State jihadists and now aim to win Iraqis’ votes.

A guard at the gate shrugs at the banner’s having been given such prominent placement, where hundreds of thousands of voters will see it before parliamentary elections on May 12.

“They own the place,” laughs the guard, tongue-in-cheek, about Iraq’s ubiquitous militias, when asked about the banner at a park run by the Baghdad municipality. “They own everything, so they are free to put it here.”

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