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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 January 2005, 13:38 GMT
Riot disrupts Iraq expat ballot
Iraqi women vote in Iran
Iran has the highest concentration of expatriate voters
A riot has broken out at a polling station in Sydney, Australia, between expatriate Iraqi voters and protesters opposed to the poll.

The disturbance broke out when a group of 20 protesters started to shout insults at voters leaving the centre.

Iraqis around the world have been going to the polls in a second day of voting.

Almost 30% of those registered to vote in 14 countries around the world turned out on Friday. Voting will continue until Sunday evening.

About one quarter of the estimated 1.2m Iraqis living abroad have registered to vote.

"If we don't vote, who else would come forward to define the future of Iraq?" said Leo Bahribeh, voting with his father at a military base in California.

HAVE YOUR SAY
I wish the best for all Iraqis - Shias and Sunnis, Arabs and Kurds, Muslims and Christians - and encourage each and everyone to defy fate and go out and vote; I certainly will be doing just that
Ghassan Hillawi
Toronto, Canada

Bernie Hogan, head of Australia's overseas voting programme, said the protesters held flags similar to those seen in videos released by Iraqi insurgents.

An Iraqi adviser to the International Organization for Migration, which is organising the out-of-country voting, said the fight was sparked when protesters took pictures of people who had voted.

"This is scary for the people," said Thair Wali.

Tired of war

The largest number of expatriate Iraqis is concentrated in Iran, where 61,000 have registered to vote.
IRAQ'S EXPAT VOTERS
Australia: 11,806
Canada: 10,957
Denmark: 12,983
France: 1,041
Germany: 26,416
Iran: 60,908
Jordan: 20,166
Netherlands:14,725
Sweden: 31,045
Syria: 16,581
Turkey: 4,187
UAE: 12,581
UK: 30,961
US: 25,946

"We are hopeful that we can have a democracy after all the years of Saddam... Iraqis are sick of foreign and civil wars," Wajih Majidi, voting in Tehran, told Reuters.

The IOM reported that 34.1% of Iraqis registered in Iran had voted on Friday.

In the United Kingdom, where only 17.3% voted on Friday, buses were expected to bring voters to centres in London, Manchester and Glasgow on Saturday.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Extra security measures are being taken for the poll



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