They have voted in Iraq

Fox News reports:

Polls closed across Iraq on Sunday as the war-weary population awaits results from the national election that will decide the future of the country’s still-fragile democracy.

The election tested the mettle of the country’s shaky security as insurgents killed 31 people across Iraq, unleashing a barrage of mortars intent on disrupting the historic day.

About 19 million Iraqis were eligible to vote on a government that will oversee the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The election is critical in determining whether Iraq can overcome the jagged sectarian divisions that have defined it since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Once the day’s results are calculated, it could be months before Iraq’s new parliament chooses a prime minister and forms a government.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said voter turnout was “high if not higher” than expected, according to Reuters. Expectations prior to the national election were approximately 50 percent voter turnout.

The article goes on to note that ‘insurgents’ launched a series of deadly attacks across the country to try and disrupt the elections, but did not succeed in dampening the spirits of the Iraqi people who braved it in order to exercise their right to vote.

Iraqi girl
A young Iraqi girl, who accompanied her family to the polling station, asked for her finger to be inked, even though she was too young to vote, shows her inked finger as she leaves the polling station in Karbala, Iraq, Sunday, March 7, 2010. Iraqis voted Sunday in an election testing the mettle of the country's still-fragile democracy as insurgents killed 25 people across the country, unleashing a barrage of mortars intent on disrupting the historic day.
(AP Photo/Ahmed al-Hussainey)

For more photos, click here.

Iraq the Model has posted their predictions for the election outcome. Iraq Pundit has posted on his and his family’s voting experiences here.

Of course, the McClatchy news outlet has taken the opportunity to taint their reporting on the Iraqi elections by – you guessed it – bashing Bush. President Obama praised the Iraqi elections as an “important milestone” for Iraq’s future, and at the same time praised American, Iraqi, and other allied forces for keeping the country safe during the vote. Me? I’d like to praise every brave Iraqi who voted this weekend, and US and allied forces in Iraq for doing the very important work of making sure the polling places were safe for Iraqis to vote. No praise will be given, however, to our Commander in Chief who, if he had has his way regarding Iraq, a very different, darker, bloodier picture would be emerging out of that country today.

Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.

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