Voting for the Future

Turning out in record numbers, Iraqis exercised their newfound right to vote in a historic parliamentary vote. There was a strong turnout on the part of Sunnis, who shunned the elections in January. The voting was extended for one hour, after continuously long lines were reported in some precincts. (the results will be announced within two weeks)

The voter turnout was so strong that some estimates have a 75% voter turnout. There were a few acts of violence, which killed a civilian and a school guard, and injured two civilians. But violence overall was very light, and certainly didn’t discourage the Iraqis from voting! To help curb potential violence, a nationwide vehicle ban went into effect, and most Iraqis walked to the polls.

There were 7,655 candidates running on 996 tickets, all running for the 275 parliament seats available. Iraqis did not vote for individual candidates, but instead for party tickets. There was also a huge turnout in Fallujah, where there was a reported shortage of balloting material. Three sites stopped because they ran out of ballots. But that may be more due to “administrative failures” than high turnout.

Overall, most Iraqis seem to agree that this was a great day for the country. Once oppressed by a tyrannical dictator, they are now able to participate in elections for their first new government. But TDI doesn’t think that this was a great day just for the Iraqis… Instead, it was a great day for supporters of freedom everywhere.

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