In Iraq, a bloc led by Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is leading the election vote in the key area of Baghdad.
Initial results show Maliki’s State of Law coalition slightly ahead of the Iraqi National Alliance, a group of powerful Shi’ite parties.
Former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s secularist Iraqiya List is in third place. Final results are not expected for a fortnight.
“I think the voters will turn away from sectarianism, I hope that candidates from all parties who want the best for Iraq will work together to form a national government not rooted in sectarianism.” was the verdict of one voter.
MEanwhile, there has been a reminder of the violent past Iraq is hoping to escape. A roadside bomb went off in the Dora district of Southern Bagdad this morning. It missed its target, a passing police patrol. Instead, five passers-by were wounded.