There was some violence and as of this writing, 44 deaths, but I think the election has been a big success for the Iraqi people.
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON - President Bush called Sunday's elections in Iraq a success and promised the United States will continue trying to prepare Iraqis to secure their own country.
"The world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East," Bush told reporters at the White House on Sunday, four hours after the polls closed. He did not take questions after his three-minute statement.
Bush praised the bravery of Iraqis who turned out to vote despite continuing violence and intimidation. Bush said voters "firmly rejected the antidemocratic ideology" of terrorists.
Iraqis defied threats of violence and calls for a boycott to cast ballots in their first free election in a half-century Sunday.