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Pre-poll voting begins in Iraq

Pre-poll voting begins in Iraq
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Voting on Iraq’s new constitution has already started in the country’s prisons and hospitals. 15 million voters will take part in the poll on Saturday, but those unable to go to polling stations, such as prisoners in the Southern town of Samawa, have been allowed to start voting this morning.

And at the city’s general hospital, sick and injured, especially women, are queuing to cast their votes. This follows the last-minute compromise deal approved by the Iraqi parliament yesterday allowing for changes to the constitution. It was agreed by the ruling Shi’ites and Kurds. The accord, which aims to draw more support from the minority Sunnis, includes setting up a panel that could propose new revisions next year. Copies of the constitution are now being distributed ahead of Saturday’s vote amidst intense security aimed at minimising the risk of the kind of attacks that marred the January elections.