Security forces vote in Iraq's general election

Security forces wait to vote during the early voting ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Caption
Security forces wait to vote during the early voting ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Iraqi security personnel are casting their ballots two days before the rest of the nation votes in parliamentary elections

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security personnel across the country cast their ballots Friday, two days before the rest of the nation votes in parliamentary elections.

The vote is being held six months before schedule, in line with a promise made by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi when he assumed office in 2020. He is seeking to appease anti-government protesters who rose up in October 2019 in Baghdad and Iraq’s south.

Friday's so-called “special voting” two days ahead of the election is meant to free police and soldiers so they can provide security on Election Day. A government advisor for election affairs, Hussein al-Hendawi, said more than 1.5 million security personnel were eligible to vote, as well as 120,126 displaced persons and hundreds of hospital patients and prisoners.

There are 3,449 candidates vying for 329 seats in parliament in Sunday’s vote, which will be the fifth held since the fall of Saddam Hussein after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

More than 24 million of Iraq’s estimated 38 million people are eligible to vote.

Security forces gather to vote during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)
Caption
Security forces gather to vote during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

Security forces gather to vote during a special voting ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Caption
Security forces gather to vote during a special voting ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban

A police officer casts his vote at a polling center ahead of Iraq's parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)
Caption
A police officer casts his vote at a polling center ahead of Iraq's parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

Security forces gather to vote during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)
Caption
Security forces gather to vote during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

An Iraqi federal policeman ​displays his ink-stained finger at a polling center during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
Caption
An Iraqi federal policeman ​displays his ink-stained finger at a polling center during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban

An Iraqi traffic policeman dips his finger in ink after voting during a special voting session ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Caption
An Iraqi traffic policeman dips his finger in ink after voting during a special voting session ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Security forces gather to vote during a special voting session ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Caption
Security forces gather to vote during a special voting session ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban

A police officer displays his ink-stained finger at a polling center during the early voting for security forces ahead of Iraq's parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)
Caption
A police officer displays his ink-stained finger at a polling center during the early voting for security forces ahead of Iraq's parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

Credit: Nabil al-Jurani

An Iraqi policeman casts his vote during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Caption
An Iraqi policeman casts his vote during the early voting for security forces ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Security forces wait to vote during the early voting ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Caption
Security forces wait to vote during the early voting ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Iraqi security personnel across the country are casting their ballots Friday two days ahead of parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Credit: Hadi Mizban

Credit: Hadi Mizban