Meanwhile In Iraq
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has hailed a largely peaceful vote for new provincial councils across the country as a victory for all Iraqis.
Voting was extended by one hour due to a strong turnout, including among Sunni Muslims who boycotted the last polls.
The first nationwide vote in four years is being seen as a test of Iraq’s stability ahead of a general election due later this year.
Security, while tight, seems to have been effective:
Despite warnings from Iraqi and US military commanders that al-Qaeda posed a threat to the elections, there were relatively few incidents reported.
And the Sunni’s decided to participate this time:
The turnout was reported to be brisk even in Sunni areas.
The head of the Iraqi electoral commission in Anbar province – a centre of the Sunni resistance to the US occupation – said he was expecting a 60% turnout.
Their participation will, of course, change the representation in government, but it looks like the Sunni’s have decided that becoming a part of the solution is a much better strategy than being a part off the problem.
Real hope and change.