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Voter turnout in Iraq election stands at 62%

Posted by Junichi Kawagoe on 10.2010 News Out of English Newspaper   0 comments   0 trackback
Iraq's election authorities say that voter turnout in the country's parliamentary election was about 62 percent despite a wave of violence aimed at disrupting the poll.

In a news conference on Monday, the election commission announced that 62.4 percent of Iraqi voters had cast their ballots in Sunday's national assembly election.

The turnout rate was higher than in last year's provincial elections by 11 percentage points, but lower than the previous parliamentary vote, in 2005, by 14 percentage points.

The commission said it views the election as successful with voter participation higher than many had feared.

A public distrust in politicians, who are seen as corrupt, and slow progress in reconstruction efforts was expected to discourage voters.

In the capital Bagdad, 38 people died in a series of bombings on election day.

Meanwhile, US military leader in Iraq General Ray Odierno says that the US will not begin to withdraw its troops immediately after the election but will closely monitor how political parties proceed with their coalition talks.

General Odierno told reporters on Monday that most of the 96,000 US troops currently in Iraq will remain in the country through May.

The commander said that the military intends to withdraw all combat troops by September 1st to cut its presence by half.

He added that there is no change to the US government's timetable which calls for all troops to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

2010/03/09 08:07(JST)
(JST: UTC+9hrs.)
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