Iraqis vote in massive numbers
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
BAQDAD, Iraq – The Iraqis turned out in large numbers to the national election of January 30, 2005, risking their lives and ignoring the threats and attacks of terrorist groups. The rebels caused at least 44 deaths during the election. Ten of the deaths were caused by suicide attacks. The Al-Qaeda organization announced on a website that 13 suicide attackers participated in the attacks.
Despite the violence, a 'loosely estimated' 60% of the 14 million registered electors appeared to vote, according to the Electoral Commission. Proportional representation was the voting method used to select the members for a 275-strong assembly that will then draw up a constitution. The Iraqis faced up to threats, attacks, and the inconvenience of long lines caused by the security measures at polling booths.
This was the first free election held in Iraq in over 50 years. The 2005 Iraq election was very different than the previous one in 2002 during the regime of Saddam Hussein. At that time the Iraq elector was offered "yes" or "no" choices in a referendum for the only candidate, Saddam Hussein. The results of that election showed 100 percent in favor of Hussein in a 100 percent turnout. That election was called the mother of all election frauds, since any Iraqi elector who didn't appear and vote for Hussein was condemned to death. , 
Mahdeya Saleh, an 80 year old Iraqi citizen said: "I had often been forced to vote under Saddam Hussein. Today I come out of my own will to choose freely the candidate of my choice for the first and last time in my life." 
"Why should I be afraid?" Arifa Abed Mohamed told a Christian Science Monitor reporter at a Baghdad polling station. "I am afraid only from God."
Other Iraqis expressed a similar disregard for the rebels’ threats. “I would have crawled here if I had to,” Samir Hassan told a Reuters reporter. “I don’t want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me.” Hassan lost his leg in an October 2004 car-bomb attack.
- First free Iraqi election begins; insurgents strike January 30, 2005.
- Annan invites Iraqis to exercise democratic rights January 29, 2005.
- Iraqi elections kept low-key, but secure, in Paris January 29, 2005.
- Anthony Shadid. "Iraqis Defy Threats as Millions Vote" — , January 31, 2005
- Steven Komarow, Gregg Zoroya and Susan Page. "On election day, elation and payback" — , January 31, 2005
- "Iraq urged to unite as world hails breakthrough vote" — , January 31, 2005