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Ayad Allawi

Allawi, Ayad (ĕyädˈ äläˈwē) [key], 1946–, Iraqi political leader. A doctor and prominent secular Shiite, he was a Ba'ath party member but went into exile in 1971. After a 1978 assassination attempt, he began organizing Iraqi exiles, and in 1991 he formed the Iraqi National Accord, which received CIA support. The group attempted to mount a coup in 1996, but government security forces foiled the plot. Allawi returned to Iraq following the 2003 U.S. invasion and became a member of the U.S.-appointed governing council. In 2004 he was a compromise choice for interim prime minister. Shiite and Sunni unrest and generally weak Iraqi security forces made it difficult for Allawi to establish an effective government with real independence from the United States. His secular coalition, the Iraqi List, won 14% of the vote in the Jan., 2005, elections for the Transitional National Assembly, and did not join the new government when it was formed in April. In the Dec., 2005, elections for the National Assembly, his coalition placed fourth. In the Mar., 2010, voting, however, he made a concerted appeal to Sunnis as well as Shiites, and his coalition narrowly placed first, but ultimately Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki formed a governing coalition and remained in power.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Middle Eastern History: Biographies

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