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1st Results In Iraqi Elections Expected Thursday

First Official Results In Iraqi Elections Expected On Thursday – UN

First official results of the Iraqi elections, which the United Nations helped organize, are expected on Thursday, UN officials said today.

The final official results will only be confirmed about a week later once any claims that have come in are resolved, the officials from the UN Electoral Assistance Division added.

All the results from polling stations around the country have made it to Baghdad and the results are now being tabulated.

In the months leading up to the 30 January vote the UN elections division lent advisory and technical assistance to the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq (IECI) in overcoming the formidable obstacles in holding the vote and deploying thousands of poll workers and tons of material.

Since the vote, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, has held meetings with a full spectrum of political leaders to discuss the role the UN will play in supporting the political process as the new national assembly writes a democratic constitution for a country that has suffered decades of dictatorship.

Both Mr. Annan and his envoy have stressed the need for all Iraqis to take part in shaping their country's future in the face of particularly low voter turnout in Sunni areas after boycott calls and ongoing violence.

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