Former Iraqi vice-president Iyad Allawi on Monday called for a national referendum on the results of last month’s parliamentary election.

The call comes one day after a huge fire broke out in the largest storage space of ballot boxes in the capital, Baghdad, notably, before the start of the manual recount, which was expected to begin later this week.

 We see the need to hold a referendum either to adopt the results of the contested election or conduct new polls in normal circumstances under the UN supervision,” Allawi, the head of Al-Wataniya coalition, said in a statement.

Last week, the Iraqi parliament adopted a resolution for a manual recount of votes in the May 12 election, in which Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won most seats.

Earlier on Monday, al-Sadr called on Iraqi political groups to abstain from fighting for power.