January 28, 2005

FEBRILE CRESCENT:

Voting fever takes hold of a people finally free to choose (Richard Beeston, 1/28/05, Times of London)

FOR decades, voting in Iraq meant taking part in a national exercise of state-enforced adulation, as 99 per cent of the electorate would dutifully turn out to tick the box beside the name Saddam Hussein.

Yesterday the contrast could not have been starker, as the campaign for Sunday’s elections picked up pace and voters were presented with a dizzying selection of dozens of candidates and parties.

Notwithstanding insurgent terror aimed at wrecking the polls, there is finally a palpable sense in Baghdad, and other Iraqi cities, that the country is entering a new era.


After all is said and done, opposition to the war ultimately comes down to opposition to providing the Iraqi people with this freedom.

MORE:
Iraq Votes 2005 (Radio Free Europe)

Iraqi polls open — in Sydney (The Associated Press and Knight Ridder Newspapers, 1/28/05)

Iraqi expatriates began casting ballots in Sydney, several jostling to be among the first to vote in Iraq's first independent elections in more than 50 years.

Amid tight security at a converted furniture warehouse, young children mingled with elderly Kurdish women in head-to-toe black robes.

"This is a long dream that now comes true," said 56-year-old Karim Jari before casting his vote. "We hope this is a new beginning."

Australia is one of 14 nations where Iraqis living outside their country can vote — and the first country in the world to begin collecting ballots because of its time zone. In Iraq, the vote is Sunday; elsewhere, it runs today through Sunday.

Polls in Iraq open at 7 a.m. Iraq time (8 p.m. Saturday PST).

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2005 9:15 AM
Comments

I am thrilled as are so many friends that Iraq will have a chance to live free under a form of democracy starting with this first election. But listening to Senator Ted Kennedy tear away at the process, one would think he preferred Saddam. The man is certifiably insane and an embarrassment to this nation.

Posted by: Johanna at January 28, 2005 9:47 AM
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