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Heavy turnout marks Iraq polling
December 15, 2005 11:06 IST
Last Updated: December 15, 2005 23:52 IST
Iraqi citizens flooded polling stations on Thursday to elect their first full-term government since the fall of former dictator Saddam Hussein.
The 10-hour polling process, which was extended for an hour by Electoral Commissioner Hussein Hendawi considering the huge turnout, came to an end at 6:00 PM local time (2030 IST).
The election process was more or less peaceful even as two blasts rocked Baghdad and Tikrit early morning when polling had just begun. Two people were killed in the explosions.
In Saddam Hussein's home province around Tikrit, the provisional turnout was 83 per cent, local electoral commission sources said.
In the Sunni stronghold of Falluja, the turnout was so huge that polling stations ran out of ballot papers during the day.
As many as 7,655 candidates and 307 political entities, nearly triple the number that contested the provisional polls in January, are competed for 275 Parliamentary seats. More than 6,600 candidates campaigned on behalf of 330 parties.Agencies