Iraqi interim Prime Minister Allawi greets Shi'ite leader Jaafari in Baghdad.
Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (R) kisses Dawa party leader Ibrahim Jaafari (L) in a traditional Arab greeting at the end of their meeting inside Baghdad's heavily protected "Green zone", February 21, 2005. The battle to become Iraq's prime minister heated up on Monday when interim leader Iyad Allawi's coalition formally put him forward as a candidate after last month's historic elections won by a Shi'ite alliance. If the main Shi'ite alliance and the Kurds were to ally, they could grasp a two-thirds majority and decide the top government posts between them. Until Allawi joined the running on Monday, that had appeared the most likely scenario. Adding intrigue to the horse-trading, Allawi met Jaafari for more than an hour of talks on Monday. "We evaluated the election process," Jaafari said afterwards, giving no details. He expected it to be a couple more days before the main Shi'ite alliance names a candidate. REUTERS/Wathiq Khuzaie/POOL AW/ABP