Today the polls open in Iraq’s second parliamentary elections since Saddam Hussein was ousted. 600,000 people have already voted – such as current President, Jalal Talabani, soldiers, prisoners and Iraqis living abroad. Now the rest of the nation gets to exercise their democratic right.
About 6,000 candidates are battling it out for the 325 seats available. It is an extremely competitive election, making the outcome hard to predict. Almost 19 million people are registered voters, and there are over 80 parties to choose from.
Across Iraq, troops and police have been out in force. Already, mortars have been fired at a polling station in the north. Efforts to foil terror, include a ban on vehicle movements to prevent car bombings.