Iraq: Iraq gears up for bitter, bloody election battle | The Washington Post

His campaign poster, jostling among the thousands that line the streets of the capital, has a message of unity: “Together we build Iraq.” But as the country prepares for its first elections since the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s political rivals accuse him of the opposite: stoking sectarian divisions and dismantling its hard-won democracy. No party is expected to win a majority in Iraq’s parliamentary elections Wednesday, the first since the last U.S. troops pulled out of the country nearly 21 / 2 years ago, which makes the results difficult to forecast. The unpredictability of Iraqi politics was underlined in the last elections four years ago, when the bloc that won the greatest share of the vote lost the premiership to Maliki in the political horse-trading that followed.
Full Article: As Iraqi police and army vote, violence kills about 50 nationwide - The Washington Post.

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