Iraq’s election may be over but the outcome will not be known for at least a month.
Whatever the result, security will remain tight with the country riven by sectarian bloodshed.
Since the last US soldiers pulled out in 2011, Iraq has descended back into extreme violence with hundreds of civilians killed each month.
Iraqi army troops on the ground, however, insist they are winning the struggle against armed groups.
One soldier, who did not want to give his name, told euronews: “During the last 10 years we have gained considerable experience, much better than the experience of armies in the surrounding countries, so the terrorists can not influence us at the moment.”
Sunni allegations of polling irregularities risks strengthening the hand of the militants.
Even more than in the last election four years ago, parties with sectarian and ethnic agendas are expected to lead the field, potentially exacerbating the divisions that underlie the worsening carnage.
Given the high number of deaths recently, our correspondent in Baghdad said the authorities are hailing as a success the relatively calm passing of the election.
“The Iraqi army is facing several challenges – firstly the fight against rival Sunni and Shia militants and then perhaps the more dangerous battle against suicide bombers. Rarely a week goes by without a suicide attack killing dozens of victims,” said euronews’ Mohammed Shaikhibrahim.