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Iraq close to a deal?

The outlook for the energy sector is bright, but the post-elections political prospects remain cloudy

Two narratives dominate speculation in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections in May, and one should be cautious in giving them credibility, because there'll be much political 'horse trading' in the coming months. The first narrative claims that the Sadrist populist movement, with strong support among Iraq's poorest Shia communities, won the election. This is misleading. The Sadrists, led by the unpredictable cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, performed better than expected. His Sairoon bloc won 54 out of 329 seats, but its political clout is limited. For example, despite boycotting a parliamentary vote on an election recount, deputies voted it through. How much influence the Sadrists will hav



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