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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's first multiparty polls in half a century began at dawn on Sunday, elections intended to unite the country but which could instead foment sectarian strife and which insurgents have vowed to turn into a bloodbath.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. (11 p.m. EST Saturday) on a chill, dark morning and were due to stay open until 5 p.m. (9 a.m. EST).
Most Iraqis talk more about the problems of survival than the election. "We are suffering from many crises: lack of food, electricity and fuel," Mr Anwar said. "It was bad enough under Saddam but now it is 10 times worse. I graduated from college but I have to work as a taxi driver and I do not have enough money even to buy shoes."
Several Iraqis interviewed yesterday said that they saw the election as a movie directed by the Americans to impress the outside world. "It is like a film," said Abu Draid, an unemployed carpenter. "It is the Americans who will control the next government whatever happens."