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IN SHORT

Dzurinda congratulates Iraqi people

SLOVAK Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda congratulated the Iraqi people January 31 on the "historic success" of their general election held January 30.

According to Dzurinda, the high turnout showed that Iraqis rejected terrorism and violent intimidation.

The mandate which the Iraqi people have given is, said Dzurinda, "powerful and straightforward - to prepare and admit a new constitution for a peaceful and calm Iraq."

According to the Prime Minister the election represents a solid opportunity for the spread of democracy in Iraq after years of dictatorship.

Preliminary results showed that around 60 percent (8 million people) took part in free elections following the ousting of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in 2003, the TASR news agency wrote.

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