Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi warns of a sectarian war if a Shia coalition takes power in the country and urging US intervention.
Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc garnered the largest number of seats in Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary election, ahead of incumbent Premier Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition which ended up in second place.
Following the prolonged vote counting process, Maliki’s bloc filed a complaint against what it called massive vote rigging in the general elections, demanding a recount in five provinces.
In an interview with the Washington Post in his Baghdad office, Allawi, however, accused Maliki of using his power to alter the electoral outcome and preserve the status quo.
If the United States and the United Nations do not step up during what is widely expected to be a months-long political vacuum, they will leave behind an unstable nation and region when they depart, Allawi was quoted as saying in the paper’s Thursday edition.
The remarks come amid speculations that Maliki’s Shia-dominated State of Law bloc could join forces in the next parliament with fellow Shias from the Iraqi National Alliance, leaving Allawi with no partners.
Allawi warned that such a prospect could amount to renewed bloodshed and sectarian conflicts in the violence-stricken nation that still suffers from terror attacks and deadly bombings after some seven years of occupation by US-led forces.
“In the interim — as America is still here, and as America still enjoys respectability in this country — they should focus on political reforms and use their offices here to forge reconciliation,” Allawi remarked.
The former prime minister, whose coalition suffered great losses for links with executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s outlawed Ba’ath party, attacked the government’s ban on Ba’ath-linked candidates prior to the March vote.
“There should have been much more criticism of the de-Ba’athification. All of it was without any foundation,” he said, referring to officials in Washington.