The Islamic Post Blog

Iraqis at the Polls by ipinfo2
March 25, 2009, 6:00 am
Filed under: March Volume 2009, World | Tags:

By Asma Abdul Adl
Islamic Post Staff Writer

Iraq recently held its provincial elections; to some, it offers a spark of hope. With over 6,000 polling stations, 14,000 candidates competed for 440 seats in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. The seats are for provincial councils that control municipal budgets and determine employment rates. The 2009 elections were the greatest electoral exercise to commence since violence escalated under the occupation. In some provinces the turnout was unusually high compared to the previous last elections in 2005 when voting was boycotted by some; others felt that the insurgency inhibited them from placing their votes.
Election Day participation definitely fluctuated from the past. The turnout in some provinces was around 60 percent. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s Dawa Party emerged on top in at least two of Iraq’s largest cities: Baghdad and Basra.
The Shiite party Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) suffered heavy losses in provinces they previously dominated. The former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who was not very popular in 2005, seems to have done well in both Sunni and Shiite provinces in all areas of the country. In the Anbar province, most seem to have voted for the Awakening Movement.
The elections themselves marked a definite change in Iraqi politics. Most feel this is the beginning of a new day for Iraq as a whole. Not long after the elections, US President Barack Obama announced all troops would be recalled from Iraq by the end of August 2010



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