January 31st, 2009
03:00 PM ET
7 months ago

Obama congratulates Iraqis for holding elections

Two Iraqi women display their ink-stained fingers, a sign that they voted Saturday in Iraq's provincial elections.
Two Iraqi women display their ink-stained fingers, a sign that they voted Saturday in Iraq's provincial elections.

WASHINGTON (CNN)– In a statement issued Saturday, President Obama congratulated Iraqis for holding provincial elections.

Obama also called the elections an "important step forward" in "the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future."

Read the entire statement after the jump

Below is a statement from President Obama on the Iraqi elections:

I congratulate the people of Iraq on holding significant provincial elections today. Millions of Iraqi citizens from every ethnic and religious group went peacefully to the polls across the country to choose new provincial councils. It is important that the councils get seated, select new governors, and begin work on behalf of the Iraqi people who elected them.

The elections were managed and organized by the Iraqi government with vital assistance from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq. Iraqi police and military forces helped secure the polling sites and protected voters as they cast their ballots. This important step forward should continue the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future.

The United States is proud to have provided technical assistance, along with the United Nations and other international organizations, to Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission – which performed professionally under difficult circumstances.


Filed under: Iraq • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. I was right!

    Thanks Dubya!

    January 31, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Doris, KY

    Great job and congratulations to you Pres. Obama. Your support for freedom will carry the world through. Sometimes freedom requires sacrifices to be made.

    January 31, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Bob the Observer

    That's nice. Shouldn't he also thank Mr. Bush for making this possible?

    January 31, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Griff

    Productive Elections? Another "Sadam", (Madas), may not be too far away..

    January 31, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. Sharon

    Thanks to a lot of efforts of George W. Bush, Iraqi seems like becoming step by step democracy. Even though main stream medias have not mentioned it, many American and history realize it. My family, however, are bewildered by suddenly president Obama's changed diplomat gesture toward Muslim countries which telephoned first
    not American allies, but leader of Arab after the Inauguration as well as interview with Al-Arbiya first and preparing of letter to Iranian president and so on. American diplomat has to be balanced among Allies, Israel and Muslim countries even though Obama has Muslim family and grown up in Muslim country, Indonesia

    January 31, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. bsmith171

    voting is overrated.

    January 31, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. The Truth

    Did he happen to mention that if it was up to him they would not have had the opportunity to vote but instead would still be being brutalized by Saddam Hussein and his sons?

    January 31, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama is so gestural. As Hillary said during the primaries about Obama _'where's the beef" – there isn't any – it's all bun.

    January 31, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    I certainly agree they should be very proud of their election.
    As well, I think it should be noted that there are many woman who stepped up in trying to shape their country's political ideology.
    Congratulations!

    January 31, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    I hope to live long enough to see a woman become the President of that region. I believe Iran has a female second VP. There has been much progress but more work still yet to be done. I admire their bravery in every aspect of their lives.

    January 31, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. Patrick

    If Bush wouldn't have had the courage to implement the surge this wouldn't have happened today. The closer Iraq moves to a stable, peaceful democracy the sooner the legacy of Bush will be secure.

    January 31, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    Iraqis, please stay strong. Think of being able to live free for the rest of your life. Think about your future and you'll know exactly what to do.

    January 31, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Nini

    Obama needs to send a thank you note to George Bush.
    Bush’s policy and our brave man and women made today possible.

    The polices that Obama condemned for over 4 years!!!

    If Obama had his way today would not be reality and only a Dream.

    January 31, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. Obama 2.0

    Great can we leave now!

    January 31, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Andy

    Wait wasn't Obama against freeing the Iraqi people? Wasn't he against the war? Wasn't he against the regime change? Yes. But now that he's won the election he's all for it?

    January 31, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. person

    Wish the Iraqis the very best and a safe, secure and most of all non-extremist type of gov.

    January 31, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. New Yorker

    How interesting; if he had his way they wouldn't even have the freedom to vote in such elections.

    January 31, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. SHECKY

    They can thank President Bush for this.

    January 31, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. congrats when we pull out

    nothing less than our troops leaving deserve congrats

    January 31, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. LLT

    Maybe America should hire the Iraqis to come over here and run the elections here!! Minnesota is just another joke in a long tradition of election corruption !!

    January 31, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Larry

    Obama and the Democratic Party are going to turn there backs on all of the progress our people have paid for,our solders have fought and died for,why????

    Democrats just cannot see the big picture,the future of the world at peace

    January 31, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  22. amy

    Just one most important line missing from Mr Obama's speach. "I would like to congatulate former President Bush for his great accomplishments. Mr Bush for the iraqi women would be equivelent to Marthin Luther King to the African Americans".

    February 1, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |