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Iraq starts counting votes

[ 2010-03-09 12:59]     字号 [] [] []  
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BAGHDAD - Iraqi authorities counted votes on Monday, a day after a parliamentary election that Islamist militants tried to disrupt with attacks that killed 38 people.

Preliminary results were not expected before Thursday in a poll that Iraqis, sickened by years of violence, hope will bring stability and better government as US troops leave.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law list claimed it was on course for victory in Baghdad and Iraq's Shi'ite south, a claim that could not be verified but which, at least in the south, appeared to be backed by informal, early vote tallies.

US President Barack Obama praised Iraqis who took part in the historic vote, and reiterated his goal to end US combat operations in the country by Aug 31.

The timetable calls for all US troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. "Unless there's a catastrophic event, we don't see that changing," General Ray Odierno, the top US general for Iraq, said on Monday.

But while the election was mostly good news for Maliki and the United States, Sunday's vote may be just the beginning of a difficult process.

Iraqi factions took five months to cobble together a coalition government last time. It may be harder now.

About 62 percent of Iraqis voted in the parliamentary election despite attempts by Sunni Islamist insurgents to disrupt the landmark vote with attacks that killed 38 people, officials said on Monday.

They said turnout was 61 percent in the sprawling Sunni province of Anbar and 70 percent in Kirkuk, a northern oil province at the heart of a bitter territorial dispute between Arabs and Kurds.


1. When will US troops leave Iraq?

2. How many people were killed in an attempt to disrupt this month’s vote?

3. When will Iraqis know the outcome of the election?


1. US troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

2. The attack killed 38 people.

3. Preliminary results are not expected before Thursday.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Iraq starts counting votes

About the broadcaster:

Iraq starts counting votes

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.