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]>> Ten years ago, he found fame and notoriety for throwing his shoes at then US President George W Bush. Now journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi is one of 7,000 candidates running for office in Iraq's parliamentary elections. He says that just like in 2008 he wants to fight corruption, just one of a myriad of challenges here.
When the country goes to the polls on Saturday it will be the first time since Islamic State was driven out. The election will shape attempts to heal the country's deep divisions and could shift the regional balance of power. There are three front-runners for the prime minister role, and Reuters Ahmed Aboulenein says the West's preferred candidate is incumbent Haider al-Abadi.
>> He has done what is seen as a very good job in sort of juggling the competing interests of Iraq's two main allies, the United States and Iran, who obviously do not see eye to eye. His challengers are his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki, whom al-Abadi was brought in to replace after al-Maliki lost a lot of the country to Islamic State, largely due to his overtly sectarian policies.
And Hadi Al-Amiri an extremely close to Iran, Shia militia commander.>> Thousands of votes have already been cast by members of Iraq's security forces ahead of the election with nearly 1 million of them assigned to protect voting stations on Saturday when the election will take place in an atmosphere of disillusionment.
>> Iraq's main sectarian and ethnic groups have traditionally been divided and at odds with each other post 2003. I'm talking here about Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs and the Kurds in the north. But what we're seeing this year is is unprecedented division within those communities.>> A new electronic system means results are expected within hours of polls closing.
But it could take weeks or even months before there is an appointed leader.