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Iyad Allawi (file photo)
31 January 2005 -- With Iraq's elections over and the ballot counting under way, interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi urged Iraqis to set aside their differences and work together to rebuild the country.
Allawi said today that in his remaining weeks as interim leader, he will promote efforts to ensure the country's minorities have a presence in the new government.
Iraqi election officials estimate that 60 percent of registered voters took part in yesterday's elections for the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
Leaders from the United Nations and countries around the world praised Iraqis for casting ballots despite insurgent attacks, which left 40 people dead.
The United States, the European Commission, Germany, and United Kingdom called the elections a victory for democracy and a defeat for insurgents. Several leaders said it will be critical to include Sunnis in the new government, even though many of them boycotted the election.
(Reuters/AP/AFP)For news, background, and analysis on Iraq's historic 30 January elections, see RFE/RL's webpage "Iraq Votes 2005."