Iraq's PM Abadi's List Leading in Iraqi Parliamentary Elections: Sources

Informed sources say the political bloc, led by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, appears to be leading in parliamentary elections.

An election commission source and a security official told Reuters on Sunday that Abadi's Nasr (Victory) coalition was the frontrunner, followed by another bloc, which is headed by cleric Muqtada al Sadr.

Iraqis voted on Saturday in the first national elections since the country declared complete victory over the terrorist Daesh group, Press TV reported.

 The electoral commission of Iraq announced that 44.5 percent of those eligible had cast their ballots in the elections.

Final results are expected on Monday. Over 7,000 candidates contested 329 seats in the parliament that will choose a new president, premier and government in Iraq.

After polls closed, Abadi said in a statement that the Iraqis had been able to vote "freely and safely."

"The provinces liberated from [Daesh] saw the holding of free voting for the first time after the big victory over and defeat of [Daesh]," he added.

The Daesh terror group unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks. Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters then launched operations to eliminate the terror outfit and retake lost territory.

Last December, Abadi declared the end of the anti-Daesh campaign in the Arab country. The group’s remnants, though, keep staging sporadic attacks across Iraq.