For Immediate Release
January 31, 2005
President Bush Congratulates Iraqis, 1/30/05
The people of Iraq have spoken to the world, and the world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East.
By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists. They have refused to be intimidated by thugs and assassins. And they have demonstrated the kind of courage that is always the foundation of self-government.
Some Iraqis were killed while exercising their rights as citizens. We also mourn the American and British military personnel who lost their lives today. Their sacrifices were made in a vital cause of freedom, peace in a troubled region, and a more secure future for us all.
The Iraqi people, themselves, made this election a resounding success. Brave patriots stepped forward as candidates. Many citizens volunteered as poll workers. More than 100,000 Iraqi security force personnel guarded polling places and conducted operations against terrorist groups.
Across Iraq, men and women have taken rightful control of their country's destiny, and they have chosen a future of freedom and peace.
The commitment to a free Iraq now goes forward. This historic election begins the process of drafting and ratifying a new constitution, which will be the basis of a fully democratic Iraqi government.
Terrorists and insurgents will continue to wage their war against democracy, and we will support the Iraqi people in their fight against them.
There's more distance to travel on the road to democracy. Yet Iraqis are proving they're equal to the challenge.
The American people congratulate the people of Iraq on this great and historic achievement.