Iraqi provincial council elections kick off with 16 million eligible voters

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Iraqi provincial council elections have officially begun at 7:00 am local time and will run until 6:00 pm, with results set to be announced within 24 hours of polls closing.

The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) reports that approximately 16 million people are eligible to vote in these elections. Across Iraq, there are 7,766 polling centers and 38,000 polling stations facilitating the process.

A total of 39 coalitions and 29 parties are in the running, with 5,970 candidates competing for positions in the provincial councils. Among them, 66 candidates are running independently.

To ensure a fair and transparent process, 500 international and local organizations are registered to monitor the elections. Over 900 monitoring teams are deployed across all provinces and polling stations to observe the process and document any violations.

Voting will continue until 6:00 pm, with electronic voting machines closing promptly at that time, according to IHEC spokesperson Jumana al-Ghalai. Results of both early and general voting will be announced simultaneously within 24 hours after the separation and counting of the general vote.

Following the announcement of results, the election process will enter the phase of receiving complaints and appeals, allowing for the resolution of any concerns raised during the voting process.

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