This weekend's elections may be a sign that democracy is flourishing in Iraq, but the security preparations don't exactly make for good voting PR. In order to keep "peaceful" in the transfer of power, Iraq will be on lockdown. Time has a rundown of the security measures, including:
- Iraq will seal its borders with other countries.
- Baghdad International Airport will be closed.
- Movement will be stopped in the center of the cities; only permitted vehicles will be allowed in downtown.
- Security forces will protect candidates and voters.
- Thousands of soldiers and police will be on the streets.
On Saturday, 14,400 candidates, including almost 4,000 women, will compete for 444 seats on governing councils for 14 of the 18 provinces. If Iraq's security efforts prove successful, it will bolster the government's contention that it can handle security needs on its own and may lead to a quicker withdrawal of US troops. Let's hope everyone exercising his or her right to vote stays safe this weekend!