This morning, more than 50 polling stations were opened in Anbar Governorate to allow 91,082 members of the Internal Security and those of the police and the army, as well as hospital and prison personnel to cast their votes. The polling went smoothly in spite of the curfew in most of Anbar's regions. The first few hours of voting drew large numbers of voters but by this afternoon the numbers went down, particularly in places where some military operations are still underway.
In Habbaniya, a number of mortar shells targeted a polling station but there were no casualties and only slight damages to the station. An army patrol was also the target of an explosive device which killed 3 people and injured 4 others.
There have been some technical problems when some of the electronic polling machines broke down, but replacements were on hand. The representatives of the candidates' blocs registered some procedural violations which led to delays in allowing the representatives into the stations which was supposed to take place at 7:00 a.m. but the delay lasted until 9:30.
Today has been set aside in the polls for members of the security, police, and army personnel to cast their votes. Some of the violations observed by the bloc representatives and civil observers included the fact that some high-ranking army officers had ordered some of their personnel and pressured them in one way or another to vote for the bloc headed by the Defense Minister, Sa'adoun Al-Dulaimi, and which is expected to take first place in the balloting as a result of the inappropriate interference.
The polls are due to close at 6:00 p.m. to enable the Election Commission to announce some results and percentages in the voting.
So far, none of the factions who have been fighting against the government forces have not nominated or backed anybody officially. The armed groups of the 'Tribal Revolutionaries' have apparently chosen to remain quiet, as their statements have always indicated that they do not expect much from the political process, but rely rather on the military option in attaining the realization of their demands.