Fri, Apr 30, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Allawi says Iraq may need new elections

AFP , BAGHDAD

Iraq’s general election winner Iyad Allawi on Wednesday said new parliamentary polls run by international monitors might be needed to end concerted efforts from rivals who want to reverse his victory.

A statement from Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition said it had considered asking the UN, the EU and the Arab League to intervene amid bitter recriminations that have blocked the democratic progress since the March 7 vote.

Allawi says his rivals are trying to change the result, through a Baghdad recount and also by the intervention of a controversial committee that disqualified dozens of his candidates after the election.

The former prime minister was in Egypt on Wednesday, where he met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and later Arab League chief Amr Mussa in the pan-Arab organization’s Cairo headquarters.

Allawi told reporters after the Cairo meeting that he asked the Arab League to intervene with the UN to end his country’s stalemate. He said he did not have detailed talks with Mubarak, who received surgery last month.

“We asked the Arab League to intervene with the UN to help Iraq get past this trial,” he said.

“We hope for a legal implementation of the elections,” he said, without elaborating.

Iraqiya’s strong backing in Sunni Arab areas allowed Allawi, a Shiite, to defeat incumbent Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, also Shiite, 91 seats to 89, according to unofficial results.

Both need 163 seats to form a majority government, but coalition talks with smaller parties appear to have stalled, leaving the country far from ready to seat a new government.

The Baghdad recount, which has yet to get under way, followed an appeal by Maliki on the grounds that electoral violations cost him votes.

Iraqiya leaders said they would send a letter to the head of Iraq’s top court, the Supreme Judicial Council, “stressing the urgency of his intervention to protect the judiciary from political influence, as this may have serious ramifications on the stability of the country.”

At the center of the dispute is the Justice and Accountability committee, chaired by former deputy prime minister Ahmed Chalabi, who won a seat in last month’s election and is a leading member of a rival coalition.

“We have fears that this committee is trying to obstruct the formation of the next parliament, through continuing its random eradication policy, without proof and without taking people to court,” Allawi told Sharqiya television.

The same committee’s executive chairman is Ali al-Lami, a Chalabi ally who failed to win a seat.

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