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UN asks for Iraqi elections to be respected

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2010 | 4:00 AM

The United Nations (UN) Security Council yesterday called on all political parties to respect Iraq's election results and the choices of the Iraqi people.

The UN's most powerful body also urged the country's political leaders "to avoid inflammatory rhetoric and actions".

As the council issued its statement, political manoeuvering intensified following last Friday's release of election results that gave a coalition led by secular challenger Ayad Allawi, a Shi'ite who drew on deep Sunni support, a two-seat lead over a bloc led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The prime minister has called for a recount and his bloc has submitted legal complaints.

Al-Maliki's strategy suggests he is prepared for a long and bitter fight to hold on to power, even if it alienates the country's Sunni community and risks new sectarian warfare.