Former prime minister Allawi’s list wins Iraqi polls


Baghdad: Former prime minister Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya list won the most seats in Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary election, the Independent High Electoral Commission said Friday.

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Allawi won 91 seats in the 325-seat parliament, only two seats ahead of the State of Law coalition, led by his rival current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The Iraqi National alliance came third with 68 seats.

Shortly after the results were announced, al-Maliki described the elections as “transparent”. Yet, he said he will not accept the results.

Al-Maliki’s coalition had previously said it will not recognise the outcome of the election without a recount. It warned of unrest and called for a manual recount of the national vote, after partial results indicated that Allawi had pulled ahead earlier this week.

Al-Maliki added that the outcome was unexpected by the Iraqi people and the political blocs.

Disputes between candidates over the outcome of parliamentary elections led authorities to tighten security in several provinces amid rising political tension and fears of violence in the country.

Iraq’s electoral commission has repeatedly refused to recount the national votes, saying that it is “impossible, and would require several months of intensive work”.

UN envoy in Iraq, Ed Melkart, described the elections as “credible” and said that the “overall election process has met reasonable demands and standards”.

The March 7 poll was the second since the ouster of former president Saddam Hussein in a US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.