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Free Elections in Iraq

Location: Washington, DC

FREE ELECTIONS IN IRAQ -- (House of Representatives - February 02, 2005)

(Mr. KINGSTON asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I dipped my finger in purple ink today in symbolic unity and in support of the free election in Iraq, the first free election in the history of that country. Their actions this weekend were not about America or necessarily an endorsement of everything we are doing, although I think that was an effect of it; but their actions were really about a free country, about democracy, about choice, about self-government and self-determination, throwing off the shackles of oppression and joining the world community. A 57 percent voter turnout in the face and threat of death and destruction.

Compare that to America, 61 percent just this November, and it was the highest voting turnout in 38 years. Or in my home county in Savannah, Georgia, Chatham County, the last time we elected a Governor, we had a 48 percent voter turnout and no one was threatened with death or suicide bombers or anything like that.

It took America 7 years to win the Revolutionary War and then it was not until 1789 that we threw out the Articles of Confederation and adopted our Constitution. It has taken us many, many years. For Iraq they have many struggling years ahead, but they have taken a very important first step.

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