With jihadists attacking only five polling sites. Beyond the voting itself, however, the question looms of what kind of society the victors will establish, and whether or not they will be able to sustain their victory in the face of certain and sustained violence from the adherents of Sharia and members of rival groups. From AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Iraq’s deeply divided Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds voted under heavy guard Saturday to decide the fate of a new constitution aimed at establishing democracy after more than two decades of Saddam Hussein’s repressive rule.
A day that U.S. and Iraqi leaders feared could turn bloody turned out to be the most peaceful in months.
Insurgents attacked five of Baghdad’s 1,200 polling stations with shootings and bombs, wounding seven voters. But the only deaths were those of three Iraqi soldiers in a roadside bomb far from a polling site, and there were no major attacks reported as U.S. and Iraqi forces clamped down with major security measures around balloting sites.
The United States hopes the constitution will be approved so Iraqis can form a permanent, representative government and secure the country so Washington can start withdrawing its 150,000 troops.
In the south, Shiite women in head-to-toe veils and men emerged from the poll stations flashing victory signs with fingers stained with purple ink, apparently responding in mass to the call by their top cleric to support the charter.
But in Sunni areas in Baghdad and several key heavily Sunni provinces, a surprisingly high turnout in some areas seemed to consist largely of Iraqis voting “no” because of fears the new constitution would mean setting in stone the Shiite domination they fear.