London, Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat – Following the victory of the Iraqiya bloc in the recent Iraqi parliamentary elections, Iyad Allawi told Asharq Al-Awsat on the phone from Baghdad, “I congratulate the Iraqi people, and consider this victory a victory for all Iraqis who opted for national consensus and change, and announced the death of sectarian and political quotas.”
In a separate statement, Allawi said, “The election results simply mean that the Iraqiya bloc has been entrusted with forming the next government and working with all the parties that won or did not win in order to form that government.”
Allawi added, “Iraq expresses its willingness to extend its brotherly hand to all neighbouring states: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Kuwait based on communication and non-interference in internal affairs.”
The announcement of the final results came after hours of anticipation and tension that gripped the Iraqi capital. Allawi’s supporters took to the streets and surrounded his residence in central Baghdad to celebrate the victory despite heavy rainfall; they celebrated the “awakening of moderation” in Iraq.
The Iraqiya bloc led by Allawi won 91 seats, while Nouri al Maliki’s State of Law coalition won 89 seats out of a total of 325 seats in the new parliament, according to the final official results announced by the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq.
The National Iraqi Alliance led by the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al Hakim finished third with 70 seats, while the Kurdistan Alliance, which is made up of the two dominant Kurdish parties [Kurdistan Patriotic Union and Kurdistan Democratic Party] came fourth with 43 seats in the new parliament.