BAGHDAD – Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi reached out to his rivals to form a governing coalition Saturday, staking his claim as the top vote-getter in Iraq’s elections and saying he hoped to build strong relations with neighboring countries.
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Allawi’s secular Iraqiya bloc edged out chief rival Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by just two seats in the March 7 vote for a 325-member parliament. The razor-thin victory meant Allawi’s road to regaining the premiership is anything but guaranteed, and a lengthy period of political negotiations — possibly punctuated with violence — likely lies ahead.
Regardless of the outcome, the final results released Friday were a turning point and served as a rejection of the domination of Shiite religious parties as has been the case since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. In many ways it also was a referendum against the sectarian politics that had pushed the country to the brink of civil war.wholesale true religion on sale