The head of the party receiving the most votes in Iraq's parliamentary elections says he wants to negotiate with all parties to form a government.
Former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says his Iraqiya alliance is "open to talks with all" and says they should start immediately, and expressed hope at achieving a solid government.
"We hope to enthrone this achievement by forming a government as quickly as possible -- a government that is capable of both providing security and appropriate services to its people," Allawi said.
Allawi's statement comes a day after full returns from the March 7 parliamentary elections showed him winning 91 seats in the 325-member parliament, narrowly edging out current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law bloc, which won 89 seats.
Fresh violence was reported on March 26, as Iraqis were waiting for the election results to be announced. Two bombs struck a crowded market in the town of Khalis in Diyala Province.
Police today said that the death toll had risen to 59, with 73 wounded.
Reuters today quoted a police spokesman as saying that "from the style of the attack and its magnitude, I can say it has Al-Qaeda's fingerprint." He added that an investigation is under way.
compiled from agency reports