Iraq: January 30, 2005


The voting is taking place. Out of a population of 27 million, some 14.2 million are eligible to vote. Throughout the country there are 5578 polling places. The system the Iraqis selected to determine who gets elected represents the diversity of political opinion in the Middle East. There are 223 political parties, which have organized themselves into 35 coalitions. There are also independent candidates is 48 candidates. There are three elections going on, with 17,000 candidates including 7,761 for the Transitional National Assembly. There are 275 seats in the National Assembly. There was some ant-government violence, but not as much as was threatened. There are long lines at most polling places. Even in areas thick with anti-government forces, people are coming out to vote. The anti-government forces have declared democracy, un-Islamic, but few Iraqis are going along with that.


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