Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya coalition won the most seats in Iraq's parliamentary elections, according to results issued Friday by Iraqi election officials.
Allawi's bloc edged out Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition by two seats in the final count of Iraq's March 7 national election for the 325-member parliament, the officials said.
Allawi's bloc won 91 seats and the State of Law coalition gained 89. Now Allawi needs to begin the tough work of gathering at least 163 seats
to forge a coalition government.
Allawi, who served as prime minister in 2004, is a secular Shiite whose bloc includes prominent Sunni Arab politicians, including Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi.
Al-Maliki has asked for a manual recount as members of his State of Law coalition and other blocs have alleged voter fraud as the margin of votes separating the candidates has narrowed. He has pledged to appeal the results.