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Iraq

(Federal/State Govt. / Local Govt./Govt. Bodies) Iraq
Power News
Iraqi election turnout not as high as hoped    
Turnout in Iraq's polls to elect councils governing 14 out of 18 provinces was lower than many had hoped due to voter registration problems and tight security.

The elections took place on Saturday without the major bloodshed that has plagued Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.

Five candidates were killed before the vote, some mortars were fired at but missed ballot stations on Saturday, and police said the house of a candidate of the mainly Sunni al-Hadba party was blown up in northern Iraq on Sunday, but no one was hurt.

Officials said on Sunday 7.5 million or 51 percent of the more than 14 million registered voters had braved car bans, body searches, barbed wire barricades and checkpoints to take part.

That was lower than the 60 percent or more that many political leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, had spoken of during the campaign. Participation in Iraq's last vote, a parliamentary election in 2005, was 76 percent.

In Baghdad, turnout on Saturday appeared to have been just under 40 percent, the independent electoral commission said.

Commission chief Faraj al-Haidari attributed the low rate in the capital to problems with voter registration records, which were based on a government food rations distribution list.

He said many people who failed to find their names on voter lists at polling stations appeared not to have updated their addresses in the records and had probably gone to the wrong ballot station.

"It's not our fault that some people couldn't vote because they are lazy, because they didn't bother to ask where they should vote," Haidari said.
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Iraq 's Country : Iraq
 
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