Iraqi security forces, expats start voting for parliamentary elections

Iraq has opened polling stations for security forces as well as expatriates in the first national elections since the Arab state declared victory over the Takfiri Daesh terror group.

On Thursday, 260 voting stations were opened across Iraq, including in Kurdistan semi-autonomous region, at 0400 GMT for nearly 130,000 members of the ministries of defense and interior as well as police, security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

Over 850,000 Iraqi expatriates living in 21 foreign countries can also go to the polls on Thursday and Friday.

The nationwide election is scheduled for May 12 and only the voters who have voting cards are eligible to vote.

Since mid-April, 7,000 candidates have been campaigning for over 329 parliamentary seats.

It will be Iraq’s fourth parliamentary and provincial assembly polls since the ouster of long-time dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the first election since the country managed to clear almost entire cities and towns of Daesh in a war that took more than three years and cost the oil-rich nation much of its government finances.

Meanwhile, police have intensified security measures across Baghdad.

According to local officials of the eastern province of Diyala, unknown gunmen attacked the vehicle of a Kurdish candidate, but the candidate did not sustain injuries.

On Monday, Daesh terrorists shot and killed Iraqi parliamentary candidate Faruq Zarzur al-Juburi, a contender from Vice President Ayad Allawi’s National Alliance list, at his home in Qayyarah in the northern province of Nineveh.

Late last month, Daesh spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir stated that members of the terror outfit would attack polling stations, voters and candidates during national Iraqi elections, which are set to take place on Saturday.

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