Kofi Annan notes high turnout in 2005 Iraq elections

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An Iraqi citizen, turning his head to protect his identity, proudly displays the indelible ink on his finger as proof he has voted in Iraq's first free election.

Monday, January 31, 2005

New York, USAUN Secretary General Kofi Annan has noted that the Iraqi people turned out in large numbers to vote in the January 30 ballot. Voters were deciding who to elect to the 275 seat Transitional National Assembly.

Sporadic violence saw the deaths of 22 people across the country during voting, but attacks by insurgents did not seem to deter voters from exercising their new democratic rights. Annan praised the courage of the people and congratulated the Independent Election Commission of Iraq (IECI) and UN officials for successfully running the poll.

The Secretary General went on to say that the success bodes well for the on-going transition process. The next step will be a referendum in October 2005 on the constitution the Transitional National Assembly will be tasked with drawing up.

In the Out-of-Country Voting Program, 93.6% of Iraqis eligible to vote, did so.