Sunday, February 01, 2009

Iraq: On Ground Updates - Iraqi Elections - February 1, 2009

On Ground Updates
Elections have wrapped up with nothing left but the vote counting and waiting

Sunday, February 1, 2009
Iraq election hailed as 'great success'

About news video: Provincial elections in a country torn apart by war and sectarian violence for almost six years have gone off relatively peacefully. Iraq's local elections were widely seen as a test of stability. Iraq now moves towards an even bigger test, the general elections, which must be held by the end of this year. Al Jazeera's Owen Fay has more on the election being hailed as a triumph...
News Video/Info posted on YouTube by AlJazeeraEnglish
. has this report today and it goes like this...
The votes are cast and being counted, after Saturday's ballot to elect regional council representatives in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces. Thanks to very tight security from Iraqi forces, the whole day passed off without major incident. Polls stayed open an extra hour to ensure that anyone who wanted to cast their ballots could actually do so. A vehicle ban in major cities was lifted early... I went out with a crew yesterday to a polling station in a neighborhood close to where we live... Streets were empty except for a lot of kids playing soccer - taking advantage of the traffic-free roads to kick around a ball. Lots of families walked to the polling station, searched by Iraqi commandos as they went inside to vote... Today, some numbers are in for voter turnout. There are some bright spots, but overall turnout wasn’t as high as many people were predicting or expecting (Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki boldly stated the turnout would be 70-80% but it wasn’t anywhere near that high)... The Iraqi Election Commission says overall, turnout was just 51% countrywide (down from 55% in the last election four years ago)...
Read the full report, with great slideshow at link below...
Iraq Election Weekend

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