World leaders are praising Iraq's elections as a triumph for freedom, democracy and the Iraqi people.
President Bush has declared Sunday's vote a "resounding success," saying Iraqis took rightful control of their country's destiny.
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and New Zealand's Foreign Minister Phil Goff both paid tribute to Iraqi voters for defying insurgent threats and going to the polls.
Malaysia and South Korea also hailed the elections while China said it hoped the vote would help bring stability to the war-torn country.
A government spokesman in Japan called it an "important step in the democratization of Iraq."
In Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he was encouraged by reports of higher than expected voter turnout.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who strongly opposed the U.S. led invasion of Iraq, praised the elections as "a step in the right direction."