EU looks forward to "rapid formation" of new Iraqi government
The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Wednesday the bloc was looking forward "to the rapid formation of a stable government in Iraq" after the outcome of the March 7 parliamentary elections were officially certified, dpa reported.
According to results ratified Tuesday by the constitutional court, former prime minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya List won 91 seats in the 325-member Iraqi parliament, while current prime minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition came in second place with 89 seats.
"The EU looks forward to (parliament) meeting shortly, in accordance with the Constitution, and to the rapid formation of a stable government, allowing Iraq to confront the challenges ahead," Ashton said in a statement released in Brussels.
Setting up the new government is proving difficult.
Allawi insists he has the right to become prime minister again because his party won the highest number of seats.
However, al-Maliki claims the role should be his to take after his recent alliance with the Iraqi National list. Together, they form the largest faction in parliament with 159 deputies.
Yet, that number is still four seats short of a working majority.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is expected to call parliament to session in 15 days, after which negotiations to form the government will officially begin