Election Winner Allawi: Time for Iraq to Look After Itself

Says his coalition will be open to all rivals
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2010 1:11 PM CDT
Supporters of former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi celebrate in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi reached out to his rivals to form a governing coalition today, staking his claim as the top vote-getter in Iraq's elections and saying he hoped to build strong relations with neighboring countries. Allawi's secular Iraqiya bloc edged out chief rival Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by just two seats in the March 7 vote, though protracted negotiations and court challenges lie ahead.

"The Iraqi people have blessed the Iraqiya bloc by choosing it," Allawi said at his headquarters. "We are open to all powers," including Maliki's bloc and the Kurdish alliance. "The stability of Iraq is the stability of the region and the stability of the region is the stability of Iraq," he said. "We cannot wait forever for America and for others to remain to protect the region. The region should be protected by its own people."

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