Allawi courts Kurdish, Shiite parties

March 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM
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BAGHDAD, March 28 (UPI) -- Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is courting Kurdish and Shiite parties as he begins forming a government after his alliance's narrow election victory.

At the same time, Allawi took aim at his main rival, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, accusing him of political maneuvering in an attempt to cast doubt on the results of the election.

Maliki, alleging fraud, refuses to recognize the results and is demanding a recount in the March 7 election, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Allawi's Iraqiya party, attracting Sunni Arab and secular voters, edged Maliki's State of Law coalition by two seats, 91 to 89, in election results announced Friday.

"The time has come to start building the country and laying the grounds for stability and economic development," Allawi said at a news conference at his party's headquarters Saturday.

Maliki apparently has turned to using the legal system against Allawi, the newspaper said.

Iraq's supreme court Thursday interpreted a clause in the constitution to mean the largest bloc in parliament, which has the right to form the new government, could be made up of two or more groups that merged after the election. That would enable Maliki's State of Law party and a rival Shiite bloc to claim the right to form a government.

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