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Iraqis flock to vote, PM seeks a third term amid upsurge of violence

Published on Apr 30, 2014 12:39 PM
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) logos before Iraq's parliamentary elections in Sulaimaniya on April 28, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqis streamed to voting centres nationwide on Wednesday, amid the worst bloodshed in years, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seeks reelection in the first national vote since US troops withdrew.

Voters have a long list of grievances, ranging from poor public services to rampant corruption and high unemployment, but the month-long campaign has centred on Mr Maliki's bid for a third term and a dramatic deterioration in security in recent months.

More than 20 million voters will choose between upwards of 9,000 candidates running for 328 seats in parliament throughout the day, from the opening of voting at 7:00 am (12 noon, Singapore time) until 6:00 pm.

The run-up to the election has seen Baghdad and other major cities swamped in posters and bunting.

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