Millions of people defied the threat of terror, turning out to vote in Iraq’s second election since the war. However, ballot-counting may take up to three days and the overall turnout is still unknown.
The choice was between Shi’ite Islamist parties that have dominated since Saddam Hussein’s fall, and secular opposition.
It is an extremely competitive election. Some 86 parties battled it out for the 325 seats. No party is expected to win outright and it may take months to form a government.
It is the last time 25 per cent of the parliamentary seats will be reserved for women – over 1,300 stood as candidates.
However, the day did not pass without violence. In Baghdad, bombs and mortars killed 38. Some 25 people died when an apartment block was attacked.
Nevertheless, Iraq’s Independent Electoral Commission said only two polling stations had to be closed briefly for security reasons.