WASHINGTON, DC- The Independent Women’s Forum congratulates the men and women of Iraq who voted in overwhelming numbers today to choose their first democratically elected full-term government since the fall of Saddam in 2003.

“Today’s nationwide election has proved to be yet another victory for Iraqis. They took another important step toward the development of a truly democratic Iraq in relative peace,” said IWF senior vice president Michelle D. Bernard.

7,648 candidates representing Iraq’s 18 provinces are vying for 275 seats in the new National Assembly. Of the 275 seats, 230 are allocated according to the population of the provinces. The remaining 45 seats will be distributed to parties whose ethnic, religious, or political support is spread over more than one province.

“This is an historic day for all Iraqis. With this election, the Iraqi people have demonstrated to the world they want to choose their own leaders and live in a peaceful Iraq,” continued Bernard.