Middle East

December 24, 2008

Thousands of candidates may complicate Iraq's provincial elections

Iraqi voters next month will see 14,500 candidates vie for 440 open seats on provincial councils, an outpouring of interest in a new phase of Iraqi self-government that could make for a baffling ballot. The Jan. 31 poll will be the first in a series of votes in Iraq next year that include elections in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, a national referendum on the new U.S.-Iraq security pact and nationwide parliamentary elections.

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