Iraqi legislative election, 2005

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Tony Blair said: "It was moving and humbling for those of us lucky enough to live in a democracy and take it for granted, to see the enthusiasm and the simple determination, the clear sight of courage of millions of Iraqis that came out to vote for the first time in their lives, despite the terrorism, despite the threats, despite the dangers." [1]

The Project For Defense Alternatives: "The process as currently designed is little more than a 'bait and switch' ploy." [2]

Jacques Chirac said that the elections showed that "the strategy of terrorist groups [had] partly failed." The election was "an important stage in the political reconstruction of Iraq," he said. He also said that the turnout and technical organisation of the elections was "satisfactory." [3]

Vladimir Putin called the elections "a step in the right direction" and a "positive event." [4]

The New York Times editorialised: "In an impressive range of mainly Shiite and Kurdish cities, a long silenced majority of ordinary Iraqis defied threats of deadly mayhem to cast votes for a new, and hopefully democratic, political order. That is a message that all but the most nihilistic of the armed insurgents will have to accept."

Bruce Anderson in the London Independent wrote: "It was truly a great day for the Iraqi people, even if the blood of heroes had to spill. So Iraq would appear the most infertile soil for democracy - except for one factor. The people want it. Yesterday large numbers of them risked their lives to vote and in many cases they had to spend hours queuing; hours as potential targets. In so doing, they were not just making a political statement. They were making a moral statement."

Mikhail Gorbachev called the elections a profanation: "What we were observing in Iraq on Sunday, as well as preparations preceding the elections, is very far from what true elections are. And even though I am a supporter of elections and of the transfer of power to the people of Iraq, these elections were fake." He went on to state "I don't think these elections will be of any use. They may even have a negative impact on the country. Democracy cannot be imposed or strengthened with guns and tanks." [5].