Iraq election largely peaceful
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013, 9:51 p.m.
BAGHDAD — Iraq carried out its first election since the U.S. military withdrawal without major bloodshed on Saturday in a major test for Iraqi security forces as they face a reviving al-Qaida insurgency. But delayed elections in two provinces wracked by anti-government protests and complaints about missing names on voter rolls overshadowed the voting.
The results will be a key measure of support for the country's vying political coalitions and could boost the victors' chances heading into next year's parliamentary elections. Thousands of candidates from 50 electoral blocs were vying for 378 seats on provincial councils, which hold sway over public works projects and other decisions at the local level.
Officials increased security to thwart insurgent attempts to disrupt the vote. Nearly all cars were ordered off the roads in major cities, leaving streets eerily empty and giving children a chance to play soccer in the middle of highways.
Scattered violence — mainly mortar shells and small bombs — struck near polling places. But they resulted in no fatalities — a departure from a wave of bloodshed earlier in the week. Six people were reported wounded Saturday.
As in past elections, voters dipped their fingers in purple ink after casting their ballots to prevent repeat voting.
Among them was Oday Mohammed, a businessman who brought his mother, wife and children along to vote for a candidate from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law bloc. He said he believes both candidates and voters are growing more experienced with the democratic process since the 2003 ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein.
“Not all politicians are corrupt. There are some good people,” he said at a polling center in the mainly Shiite district of Kazimiyah.
The voting occurs at a time of rising tensions between Iraq's Sunni Arab minority and the Shiite majority that has dominated politics since the U.S.-led invasion a decade ago.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- China defends burgeoning military
- Malaysia Airlines says plane carrying 239 people missing
- Al-Qaida’s grip transforms, terrorizes eastern Syrian city
- Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend tells court at his murder trial of guns, temper
- Dutch pot problems spill into its streets
- Saudis name terrorist groups
- In North Korea, voting’s really a breeze: You must vote and you get 1 candidate
- Crimean vote called illegal
- Myanmar kicks out Doctors Without Borders
- 28 dead, 113 injured in knife attack at Chinese train station
- 34 fatally slashed, 130 injured in rampage at Chinese rail station