An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote in the country's parliamentary elections in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 12, 2018. Polls opened across Iraq on Saturday in the first national election since the declaration of victory over the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

The Latest: Polls close in Iraq's national elections

May 12, 2018 - 12:44 pm

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on Saturday's national elections in Iraq (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Polls have closed across Iraq in the first national election since the country declared victory over the Islamic State group. Saturday's vote — the fourth since the 2003 U.S.-led toppling of Saddam Hussein — was marked by reports of low turnout and irregularities.

Results are expected within 48 hours, according to the independent body that oversees Iraq's election, but negotiations to choose a prime minister tasked with forming a government are expected to drag on for months.

Voting began early Saturday morning in a contest that had no clear front-runner after weeks of official campaigning. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's stiffest competition came from political parties with closer ties to Iran.

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7:00 a.m.

Polls have opened across Iraq in the first national election since the declaration of victory over the Islamic State group.

No clear front-runner has emerged after weeks of official campaigning as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi faces stiff competition Saturday from political parties with closer ties to Iran.

The vote — the fourth since the 2003 U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein — will be conducted electronically for the first time to reduce fraud. Polling centers have been set up for many of the country's 2 million people who remain displaced by the war against IS.

Al-Abadi took office just weeks after IS fighters overran nearly a third of Iraq's territory in the summer of 2014 and has since overseen the grueling military defeat of the group.

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