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Iraqis flock to polling stations in test of fledgling democracy
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki faces votes in 14 provinces that will provide clue to general election later in the year

(Deborah Haynes/The Times)

Akram Nema, a member of the national police force, puts ink on his finger after voting at El-Farat High School for Boys in Baghdad
Deborah Haynes, Baghdad
Police, firemen and prisoners are among hundreds of thousands of Iraqis casting an early vote today ahead of provincial elections at the weekend that will mark the first test of Iraq’s fledgling democracy since 2005.
The polls, in 14 of the country’s 18 provinces, pit the Dawa Party of Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister, against rival Shia, Sunni, Kurdish and secular parties, giving an idea of the strongest powers ahead of a general election in December.
The main vote on Saturday will also sample the capability of the Iraqi police and army, with US troops taking a backseat role. The Iraqi security forces are voting today to enable them to concentrate on their job on Election Day.
Hospital patients are also eligible for the early vote.
Exiting a polling station, policeman Mohaned Mohamed dried his index finger with a tissue after dipping it in a pot of indelible ink. Each person must put purple ink on one finger after voting to prevent anyone from voting multiple times.
“It was a wonderful experience, the end of dictatorship,” said Mr Mohamed, 31. He, like many people, was unable to go to the ballot box in general elections three years ago or to the last provincial polls in January 2005 because of the sectarian violence that engulfed Iraq.
 

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WOW.......way too radical.What is your point? belive who you want..........Deborah haynesm is THEE FINAL Answer....listen to her and Rush to the brain. Tell me ........what WAS the point again?
 

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You probably won't see it on American network TV. The libs don't want you to know that the surge is working.

Doug Whiton, P/W dealer/dist
 

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Bet they don't have any nuts like ACORN over there!!!!
 

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the perception of failure in iraq was very important to the Looney Left.

It was one of the hooks they hung the election on. Now that the elction is over you will see them taking credit for everything good that takes place there.

Typical puke action.

HM
 

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It's my hope that things go smoothly and that the young democracy and in fact endure. That we can leave Iraqi have completed a misson to rid the country of a tyrant. Some day the weapons of mass destruction will be found. President Bush and the U.S. will be vindicated!
 

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Bruce,, I agree,,,but have you thought about the US spending billions of dollars and 4000 lives to kill a POS named Hussein,,,and then the US spends 670 million dollars to elect a POS named Hussein who is screwing up 320 million lives??????

Ironic ain't it,,,,,,!!
 
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