Iraq begins 1st phase of parliamentary elections


Iraq began a special voting on Thursday as security forces, hospital patients and prisoners went to polling stations to cast their ballots for the parliamentary election that takes place on March 7.

In this first phase of the poll, over 800 thousands voters are expected to cast their ballots.

As many as 1,700 constituencies have

been set up for the first phase of the elections.


Iraqi expatriates are due to cast their ballots for the parliamentary elections on Friday.

Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces enforced emergency plan and stepped up security measures in Baghdad, days ahead of the general elections set for March 7.

The move came as part of a security plan aims to protect the city from attacks during the elections

Election organisers expect around 800,000 people, who will not be able to go to polling stations on Sunday, to take part in the early voting session.

Security was tight in the centre of the capital and security forces closed down streets around polling stations.

Soldiers and policemen, hospital staff and the sick, and prisoners with less than five years left in jail are eligible to vote. The latter three groups are set to vote in their hospitals or prisons.

Almost 19 million Iraqis, from a population of 30 million, are eligible to vote at 10,000 polling stations around the country, with 6,200 candidates standing for the 325 seats in parliament.

Iraqi expatriates will begin voting in 80 cities across 16 countries on Friday, a process that will continue until Sunday. Iraq’s electoral commission says 1.4 million people are eligible to vote abroad.

Shiite News Chief analyst said that United States and Saudia Arabia are hatching the conspiracy to provoke sectarian and tribal differences in Iraq to fulfill their vested agenda.

He informed that Saudia and Americans were adopting the Lebanon election strategy in Iraq to exploit sectarian and tribal differences for the rule of Saddam loyalists in Iraq.

He further said that the Saudia Arabia, America, and other Arab states have been spending billions of dollars in ongoing Iraqi election for the defeat of Shia Alliance as they would not tolerate the Shia government in their neighbourhood in Iraq.


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