Twenty-one electoral coalitions will run in Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary elections in October, according to the country’s election commission.

“There are a total of 3,249 candidates vying in the polls, including 951 women and 789 independents,” commission spokesperson Jumana al-Ghalay said in a statement.

The Al-Fatah Alliance headed by Shia politician Hadi al-Amiri and the State of Law Coalition led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are the two main parties running in the vote. There are also the National Power of the State Coalition led by Ammar al-Hakim and Al-Nasr Coalition of former Premier Haidar al-Abadi.

Prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has announced his boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iraq.

The polls were originally scheduled to be held in 2022, but Iraq’s political parties have decided to hold early elections following mass protests that erupted in the country in 2019 against deep-seated corruption and poor services.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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