Iraq's prime minister has attacked calls for international involvement in setting up a new government following the country's close-fought March 7 elections.
Nuri al-Maliki said that a deeper foreign role could only harm Iraq and delay its efforts to become self-reliant.
His main opponent in the election, former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, has called on the United Nations to set up a transitional government to oversee fresh elections.
Allawi's Sunni-backed Al-Iraqiyah bloc has a two-seat lead in parliament according to preliminary election results, but a recount of votes in Baghdad demanded by Maliki and efforts to disqualify some candidates could erase this lead and allow Maliki to keep his post and form the next government.
Al-Iraqiyah has accused Maliki's Shi'ite-led government of trying to marginalize it and called for the international community should organize new elections.
compiled from agency reports