- Title: IRAQ: Iraqis urge election winners to live up to their promises
- Date: 9th March 2010
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (MARCH 8, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BAGHDAD STREET SCENE VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN STANDING NEAR POLICE VEHICLE IN KARRADA DISTRICT IN CENTRAL BAGHDAD VARIOUS OF MUNICIPALITY WORKERS REMOVING ELECTION POSTERS AND BANNERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAAD ABTAN, BAGHDAD'S RESIDENT, SAYING: "Thanks God, despite the bombings and rocket attacks, Iraqis went to the polling stations and challenged the rockets and explosions. I call on the new government to meet the promises the candidates made. We want security and reconstruction." MORE OF MUNICIPALITY WORKERS CLEANING UP STREETS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOHAMMED, BAGHDAD RESIDENT , SAYING: "The election that took place yesterday was good and we went to vote despite the bombings and terrorism. It was a successful election, thank God , but I urge the new government to meet its promises. All candidates made promises of reconstruction and news jobs. I hope to see that happening." VARIOUS OF MUNICIPALITY WORKERS REMOVING ELECTION POSTERS AND BANNERS WIDE OF STREET
- Embargoed: 24th March 2010 07:48
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA17LA6LS2KUD1SIWKFW24Z416L
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Baghdad's residents on Monday (March 8) called on their elected government to live up to their promises made during election campaign.
It was a day after Iraqis took to the polls in parliamentary elections that put the country's security forces and its fledgling democracy to the test before U.S. troops leave, and municipality workers were cleaning up the streets of Baghdad.
"Thanks God, despite the bombings and rocket attacks, Iraqis went to the polling stations and challenged the rockets and explosions. I call on the new government to meet the promises the candidates made. We want security and reconstruction," Saad Abtan from Baghdad said.
Another resident, Mohammed, hailed the election as a successful experiment, despite deadly violence.
"The election that took place yesterday was good and we went to vote despite the bombings and terrorism. It was a successful election, thank God , but I urge the new government to meet its promises. All candidates made promises of reconstruction and news jobs. I hope to see that happening," he said.
Bombs and rocket attacks killed at least 38 people as Iraqis voted on Sunday (March 7) in elections which determine who runs the country as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2011 and massive oil sector projects kick into gear Blasts rumbled across Baghdad and other cities as scores of mortar rounds, rockets and roadside bombs exploded near polling stations in a campaign to scare voters after Sunni Islamist insurgents had vowed to wreck voting for Iraq's second full-term parliament since the 2003 U.S. invasion.
Polls closed at 5 p.m. (1400 GMT), ending 10 hours of balloting in which 19 million people were eligible to take part. It could take three days to get results, U.N. officials say.
Iraq's political course will be decisive for President Barack Obama's plans to halve U.S. troop levels over the next five months and withdraw entirely by end-2011 and was watched closely by oil companies planning to invest billions in Iraq.
Voters in the ethnically and religiously divided country were given a choice between Shi'ite Islamist parties that have dominated Iraq since Saddam Hussein's fall and secular rivals.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, urged all parties to accept the election results.
One of Maliki's opponents, ex-Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, has already complained of irregularities in early voting.
Allawi's secular list is tapping into exasperation with years of conflict, poor public services and corruption, and hopes to gain support from the once privileged Sunni minority.
About 6,200 candidates from 86 factions are vying for 325 parliamentary seats. No bloc is expected to win a majority, and it may take months to form a government, risking a vacuum that armed groups such as Iraq's al Qaeda offshoot might exploit.
Few elections in the Middle East have been as competitive as this one. Its conduct could determine how democracy in Iraq affects a region used to kings and presidents-for-life.
Maliki, whose State of Law coalition is claiming credit for improved security since sectarian warfare peaked in 2006-07, faces a challenge from ISCI and his other former Shi'ite allies, derided by Sunni militants as pawns of neighbouring Iran.
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