Turnout in Iraq's milestone provincial elections on Saturday reached 51%, lower than expected, officials say. Candidates backed by PM Nuri al-Maliki (pictured) look set to make gains although official results will not be published for days.
One in two voters turned out for Iraq's largely peaceful provincial elections on Saturday. Candidates backed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (pictured) look set to make gains although official results are expected to begin coming in on Tuesday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called Saturday’s largely violence-free provincial elections “a victory for all Iraqis”. Millions cast their vote in the landmark poll, in stark contrast to the apathy during the 2005 elections.
Iraqis voted in provincial elections amid high security in the first poll since 2005. Six policemen and a civilian were injured in a bombing north of Baghdad but police reported no fatal incidents. Results will begin coming in on Tuesday.
On Thursday, just two days before provincial elections in Iraq, gunmen killed three candidates in separate incidents. One victim was a Sunni Arab from the National Unity List party, another was of the Sunni Arab Islamic party.
The Iraqi government has decided not to renew the operating licence of US security contractor Blackwater Worldwide because of a 2007 shooting incident. Iraq's voters, set to go to the polls for the first time since 2005, are likely to approve.
Iraq’s black community hopes that Jan. 31's provincial elections will provide an opportunity for the descendants of African slaves to field their own political candidates and reverse centuries of discrimination.
Election officials reported a 70% turnout rate in the first stage of Iraq's provincial elections, the country's first vote since 2005. Police and military staff, as well as prisoners, were eligible for early voting.