Members of the Iraqi National Police show off their newly inked fingers after voting in the provincial elections at the Bilal Al Habashi School in the Istaqlal Qada of northeastern Baghdad, Jan. 28, 2009. Photo by Scott Flenner, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs.
— Members of the Iraqi Police and National Police kicked off the provincial elections by placing their vote at the Bilal Al Habashi School in Istaqlal Qada in northeast Baghdad, Jan 28.
“This is a good step for Iraq and the people. They have free opinions to vote wherever they want and for any person they want to give peace in Iraq,” said Col. Majeed Khalil, a member of the 2nd Brigade, 1st National Police Division.
This marks the first set of elections here since 2005 and will be a pivotal point in determining Iraq’s political future.
“There is a change in Iraq, and we can say that it is and a good change for Iraq,” said Khalil. “Before these elections, it was not good and there was a lot of violence Baghdad, but we now have free opinion to vote for anyone we want to help better Iraq.”
Wednesday’s early round of special voting was set aside for Iraqi Soldiers, Police, displaced personnel and other special needs citizens to ensure that when the general populace votes Jan. 31, the Iraqi Forces will be able to provide security.
“We have all the emergency stuff we need, and we are going to do our best to provide security to the people so that the people are able to vote free,” said Khalil.
For those placing their votes Wednesday, the importance of that decision was not forgotten.
“It is very good,” said Bakr Hdait, a hospital janitor in Adhamiyah, who was casting his vote. “We have to choose the person who is going to work for us. He’s going to make a lot of things good for us.”