Amid Security Challenges Iraq Parliamentary Elections Kicks off -Maliki Certain of Victory

Nouri al-Maliki

Iraqi PM Maliki Certain of Victory

Iraq Parliamentary Elections Kicks off Amid Security Challenges

Local Editor

Iraqis started on Wednesday voting in the first parliamentary elections since US troops withdrew, amid security challenges represented by Takfiris who have been for years carrying out suicide and bomb attacks against civilians.

Voters began streaming into election centers Parliamentary Electionsnationwide from 7:00 am (0400 GMT), with polling due to end at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT), as more than 9,000 candidates compete for 328 seats in parliament.

 The run-up to the election has seen Baghdad and other major cities swamped in posters and bunting.

Parties have staged rallies and would-be lawmakers have angrily debated on television.

Attacks on polling stations and campaign gatherings in recent days have cast a pall over the vote, and spurred fears that much of the electorate could stay home rather than risk being targeted.

Some political parties expect high turnout, based on the high rate of participation in the elections abroad and by security forces. Elections abroad and by security forces took place earlier on Sunday and Monday.

Source: AFP

30-04-201

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