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High turnout in Kurdistan elections

Video by Aude SOUFI , Luke BROWN

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-26

Iraqi Kurds massively went to the polls in elections expected to keep Masoud Barzani in power in the autonomous region of Kurdistan. Voter turnout was estimated at 78.5%. Final results are not expected for two to three days.

AFP - Voter turnout in presidential and legislative polls in Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan on Saturday was 78.5 percent, the electoral commission said citing preliminary figures.
   
"The total level of participation in the region is 78.5 percent," Hamdia al-Husseini, head of the electoral department at the commission, told a news conference in Arbil.
   
Turnout was 79 percent in Arbil province, 74.5 percent in Sulaimaniyah, and 85.9 percent in Dohuk, she said.
   
More than 2.5 million Kurds were eligible to vote in the elections.
   
Final results are not expected for several days, as ballots must be collected in the regional capital Arbil before being transported to Baghdad for the count.
   
Five candidates registered for the presidential race, including incumbent and favourite Massud Barzani, while 24 political lists will contest the 111 seats in the assembly which first convened in 1992.
   
Legislative seats in Kurdistan are awarded via a form of proportional representation.
   
Saturday's vote was being held six months after provincial elections took place in the rest of Iraq, except for disputed Kirkuk, where a date for polls has yet to be set.

Date created : 2009-07-26

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