Iraqis went to the polls again today and voted for local representatives, on an almost violence-free election day:
More than 14,000 candidates are competing for 440 seats in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. The seats are for provincial councils that control municipal budgets and have the power to hire and fire people, giving successful candidates a great deal of power and influence in a nation with high unemployment.
Prime Minister Maliki declared it a victory:
"I am very happy today because all the indications and information indicate a big turnout in the voting centers. This is a victory for all Iraqis."
It is also a victory for the United States and President George W Bush. Under President Bush's resolute leadership, America liberated Iraqis from Saddam's tyranny. Today's successful vote, as well as Iraq's 2005 parliamentary elections signal the birth of the first free Muslim society in the heart of the Mideast.
Watch the following Associated Press video report: