Baghdad, Mar. 27 (ANI): Ayad Allawi's narrow victory over incumbent Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in the Iraqi general elections is being seen as a prelude to a period of political uncertainty and possible violence that could delay the withdrawal of American troops from the country, the New York Times reports.
Soon after the declaration of results, Maliki and his supporters hurled accusations of fraud at Allawi, who has the reputation of being an American puppet.
Western observers and an independent election commission said they saw no signs of widespread fraud.
Allawi galvanized the votes of millions of Sunnis - who boycotted the last parliamentary elections in 2005 - to build his edge of 91 to 89 seats over his nearest rival, Maliki, the paper says.
That falls far short of the majority of 163 of the 325 seats in Parliament that he needs to form a government, it adds.
While Iraqi political experts interviewed doubt that Allawi would succeed in assembling a governing coalition, Maliki would remain the caretaker prime minister of the nation until the appointment of a new government.
Reactions in Iraq ranged from jubilation to fear.
Some people partied in the streets, honking horns and firing weapons in the air; others stockpiled food in case of violence and renewed curfews.
"Nobody felt happy in Diyala," said Qais Jihad, 30, referring to the pair of bombs outside a cafe, killing 43 people who had gathered to await the results. "It is a win with a bloody flavor. ow we want to finish with election troubles and form a government so we can stop Iraqis' bleeding." (ANI)