BAGHDAD, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Interim Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer made an appeal Tuesday for unity among Iraq's various factions in the wake of Sunday's elections.
"Big challenges are looming ahead which we should confront with reconciliation and unity between all groups who did not resort to violence," he told a Baghdad news conference.
Yawer said the Iraqi government will conduct a dialogue with all factions to iron out differences.
Yawer applauded the wide participation of the country's Shiite community "who refrained ... from wasting that great opportunity to speak up.
"I told the Sunni community to avoid repeating the mistake which the Shiites committed in the 1920s when they deprived themselves from participating in the political process," Yawer said.
He noted that despite the decision of Sunni groups to boycott the elections, many in the Sunni cities of Mosul, Anbar and Baquba did vote.
Although they make up 20 percent of the population, Sunni Muslims held the majority of power positions under former dictator Saddam Hussein.