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Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) with Moqtada al-Sadr. Photo: Haidar Hamdani/AFP/Getty

Nearly three months since Iraqis went to the polls to cast their ballots in a parliamentary election, a new government is yet to be announced — and the wait might be long.

Where things stand: With no party or bloc able to secure an outright majority in the May 12 vote, political leaders in the country began negotiations over the formation of a governing coalition.The process, however, has been put on hold due to a manual recount of votes that was called on in June following allegations of rigging. As soon as the final results are announced, the blocs will begin scrambling to announce their coalition partners.

  • Uncertainty persists, however, as the two Shia blocs that won the most parliamentary seats in the initial count — the Sairoon Alliance led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr and the Fateh bloc led by Hadi al-Amiri — remain at loggerheads.
  • On June 13, Sadr, who opposes Iranian involvement in Iraq, and al-Amiri announced a surprise alliance. But speaking to Al Jazeera, Fateh's spokesperson Ahmed al-Assadi denied that an official partnership with Sairoon had been forged.
  • Analysts say this lack of unity now places the ball in the court of Sunni and Kurdish parties. The decision by these parties over which of the two opposing Shia fronts to join will be crucial in the formation of the majority bloc — and the eventual naming of the country's next prime minister.

Go deeper: Read the full Al Jazeera report.

Go deeper

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.