World Bank Group

Al-Abadi defeated IS. Why won't he sweep Iraq's elections?

During four years in office, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has racked up a list of achievements that would make most politicians envious. He prevailed over an Islamic State insurgency that at its peak controlled one-third of the country. He steered Iraq's economy through a collapse in global oil prices. And he foiled a Kurdish bid for independence.

And yet, despite that record, a second term is far from assured when Iraqis go to the polls in national elections on Saturday.

With the conventional war against IS concluded, Baghdad is experiencing a relative lull in insurgent-style attacks and many Iraqis are expressing cautious hope for the future.

But the...