Iraq holds first parliamentary election since defeating ISIS

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Iraq holds first parliamentary election since defeating ISIS

Iraqis voted on Saturday for the first time since the defeat of Islamic State, with Prime Minister Haider Abadi, a rare ally of both the United States and Iran, trying to fend off powerful Shi’ite groups that would pull the country closer to Tehran.

Iraqis expressed pride at the prospect of voting for the fourth time since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein, but also said they had scant hope that the election would stabilise a country beset by conflicts, economic hardship and corruption.

Polling stations closed at 1800 (1500 GMT).

Reuters reporters at polling stations in several cities said voter turnout appeared to be about 30 percent, citing sources in provincial offices of the Independent High Electoral Commission. Turnout in the 2014 vote was about 60 percent.

Voters will pass their verdict on Abadi, who has achieved the delicate task of maintaining relationships with both of Iraq’s main allies who are otherwise arch enemies: Iran and the United States.

Source : Reuters