"Iranian finger prints are obvious in the way the alliance was formed and announced," Haidar al-Mulla, a spokesman for Iraqiya, told Al Jazeera.The Sunni-backed list led by Iyad Allawi, a former prime minister, also accused Nouri al-Maliki, the incumbent PM, and his allies of clinging to power at the expense of Iraqi people."We will never be part of a sectarian government. Iraqi people refused sectarianism when the majority of them gave their votes to our list, which includes all Iraqi factions, religions, ethnicities and sects," al-Mulla said.
Khalid al-Asadi, co-founder of al-Maliki's State of Law list, denied the allegation. "Actually, those who describe our alliance [with the Iraqi National Alliance] as sectarian are sectarian themselves," he told Al Jazeera."We consider this accusation a kind of sectarian incitement. We are patriots who promote a civil state in Iraq."
The two Iraqi blocs' agreement stipulates that Ali al-Sistani (photo), an Iranian-born cleric in Iraq who holds the highest rank among Shia scholars, would have final say in any dispute between the parties.
The new Shia alliance remains four seats short of the 163 needed to form a parliamentary majority but is still likely to take office. A big question mark, however, is who is going to be the new prime minister. The Sadrists of Muqtda al Sadr, which retain 38 seats in the Iraqi National Alliance, have a problem with the incumbent prime minister Nuri al Maliki, because he used the Iarqi army in 2008 to disarm teh Sdarist forces..
According to full preliminary results from the election, State of Law won 89 seats in the 325-member Council of Representatives while the INA, led by Shia religious groups, won 70 seats.
The Kurdish Alliance, made up of Iraq's autonomous northern region's two long-dominant blocs and holding 43 seats, has previously said it would join the coalition once the two main parties sorted out their differences.
The final number of seats gained by each party could yet change, however, as electoral authorities are conducting a recount of votes in the key Baghdad constituency, which accounts for 70 parliamentary berths.
In addition, nine election-winning candidates are awaiting a ruling on whether or not they will be allowed