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Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 10:20 GMT
Landslide win for Saddam's son
polling station
An emerging new leader for long-suffering Iraqis
Uday Saddam Hussein, elder son of the Iraqi president, has been elected to parliament with 99.99% of the vote in a Baghdad constituency.

For Mr Hussein - who has a reputation for being almost as ruthless as his father - this is the first foray into politics and is apparently a move to take on a more prominent public role.

Announcing the result before the general figures were released on Tuesday, Al-Ittihad newspaper said the 35-year-old won every voter's support in most of the polling stations, where 10 candidates were standing for five seats.


Uday Hussein
Hussein made are rare public appearance to vote
The paper's figures suggest that only about 30 out of nearly 290,000 voters did not cast their votes for the president's son.

In interview on Al-Jazeera satellite TV on Monday, Mr Hussein denied nepotism had played any part in his candidature.

"I was included in the list of nominations approved by the (ruling Baath) party on the basis of its perspective on the capabilities of the party's youths who can occupy seats in the parliament," he told the Qatari-owned station.

Limp

Uday made a rare public appearance when he voted shortly before polls closed. He arrived amid high security, reportedly in a convoy of luxury cars.

He still walked with a limp from injuries he suffered in a 1996 assassination attempt.

"We will do our best for the prosperity of our great people, and whatever is possible in the way of serving the brave men of Iraq and help the loyal and glorious Iraqi women and we ask God to help us," he said to reporters after casting his vote.

It is widely assumed that Mr Hussein will take the influential position of parliamentary speaker.

Candidates for the 220 elected seats in parliament are required to support the principles of the Saddam Hussein's Baath party.

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See also:

26 Mar 00 | Middle East
Iraq votes for new parliament
14 Feb 00 | Middle East
'Lost generation' faces bleak future
24 Mar 00 | Middle East
Saddam 'winning propaganda war'
27 Mar 00 | Middle East
Sanctions 'hitting Iraqi youth'
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