TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Iraq election largely peaceful

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
  2. Scientists warn about killer robots
  3. Gunbattle kills 21 at Afghan wedding party
  4. U.S., Turkey plan for ‘safe zone’ free of ISIS in northern Syria
  5. French students unearth 560,000-year-old tooth, oldest body part found in country
  6. Boehner vows to do ‘everything possible’ to scuttle Iran nuclear deal
  7. Israelis remember how summer conflict affected beach ritual
  8. Defense secretary touts success of Kurdish fighters in war on ISIS
  9. Turkey couples ISIS bombing runs with striking Kurdish targets
  10. Saudi-led airstrikes kill 120 in Yemen
  11. On final day in Kenya, Obama makes it personal in call for reform