March 22, 2010 |
Iraq's political process lurched toward crisis Sunday as the country's prime minister, president and interior minister threw their weight behind a ballot-by-ballot recount of the nation's parliamentary elections. In addition, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, whose election slate is locked in a tight race with that of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, invoked his military powers as Iraq's commander in chief to insist that the Independent High Electoral Commission respond to the recount demand issued by his political bloc and others.
March 18, 2010 |
With more than 80% of the votes tallied in Iraq's parliamentary elections and the race still neck and neck, hopes that the country might move beyond its deep Shiite-Sunni divide appear to be fading in a stew of sectarian politics. Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, who once campaigned as a nationalist leader responsible for restoring security to all Iraqis, is now falling back on his Shiite Muslim religious identity to position himself against challenger Iyad Allawi, a secular Shiite popular with the minority Sunni Arab population.
March 10, 2010 |
Hunkered down in a community outside Baghdad, Raad Ali watched the national elections Sunday in anonymity. No one bothers him here. Strangers think he is just another displaced Iraqi from the capital. The days are long, and he misses his wife and children. He believes that the election results could mean either his return home or exile, far from his loved ones. With his button-down shirts, slacks and habitual smile, Ali looks like an unassuming civil servant or eager salesman growing into a chubby middle age. The only sign of worry is his five o'clock shadow.
March 8, 2010 |
Bombs and mortar shells pounded Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens more, as Iraqis, desperate for a brighter future, sought to cast their ballots in crucial national elections. The deadly blasts, which echoed across the capital before 7 a.m. and lasted until close to noon, threw a pall over the vote for the second four-year government since Saddam Hussein was toppled in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. In contrast to national elections in 2005, when U.S. military vehicles patrolled Baghdad, only Iraqi army and police guarded the city Sunday.
March 7, 2010 |
Dozens of mortar rounds thudded across Baghdad on Sunday morning and at least 12 people were killed as Iraqis went to the polls in an election testing the stability of the country's still-fragile democracy. Insurgents had vowed to disrupt the elections -- which they see as validating the Shiite-led government and the U.S. presence -- with violence in order to increase uncertainty over a looming U.S. troop drawdown and widen still jagged sectarian divisions. As the polls opened at 7 a.m., bombs began exploding and mortar rounds landing across the city.
March 4, 2010 |
Suicide bombers attacked two police stations and a hospital Wednesday in the volatile city of Baqubah, killing at least 31 people just days before Iraq holds national elections. Bombings had been widely anticipated in the run-up to the elections, and the Baqubah assault targeting members of the security forces that will guard the polling stations on Sunday seemed designed to disrupt the vote. So far, however, fears of carnage similar to the attacks that killed hundreds of people on three occasions in Baghdad last year have not materialized.