Iraq Holds First Vote Since U.S. Left


iraq-electionsFor the first time since U.S. forces pulled out of Iraq in 2011, Iraqi citizens are heading to the polls. The election comes as Iraq, particularly the western province of Anbar, faces rising violence, as well as a struggling economy. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite Muslim, is seeking a third term in the election, but has faced criticism that he has made the sectarian violence worse, and that as prime minister he has pursued power grabs.

The polls opened at 7 a.m. local time (12 a.m. EDT), and voters are choosing among 9,012 candidates for parliament.

While casting a vote early in the morning, Maliki told reporters, “Our victory is confirmed but we are still talking about how big this victory will be.” Read more.

{Andy Newscenter}