Iraqis voted Saturday in the first general election since the Persian Gulf War cease-fire in partial fulfillment of promises that political restrictions would be eased after eight years of rigid war-time rule.

More than 8 million Iraqis were eligible to vote for a new National Assembly. One of its first acts will be to ratify a post-war constitution allowing political parties to be set up alongside the ruling Baath Party and two small pro-government Kurdish parties.