Thursday, February 5, 2009
UN Envoy: Iraqi Provincial Elections 'Historic'
The U.N. Special Representative in Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, said that of the nearly 15 million eligible voters, about 51 percent - almost 7.5 million people - went to the polls on Saturday.
Provisional results are expected in the next few days, but final results are not likely before the end of the month.
Speaking via video link from Baghdad on Tuesday, De Mistura called the election "historic" because it was the first to take place since Iraq regained its sovereignty.
"In other words, an Iraqi election led by the Iraqis, managed by the Iraqis, with the assistance of the U.N., but done by themselves," he said.
Voters went to the polls to select provincial councils in 14 of the country's 18 provinces.
Under the new election law passed by parliament last year, voters were able to choose not only the party they favored, but also specific candidates. The electoral commission certified more than 14,000 candidates, including some 4,000 women.
For the full article on VOANews.com click here