Elections in Iraq
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politics and government of
Under the Iraqi constitution of 1925, Iraq was a constitutional monarchy, with a bicameral legislature consisting of an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate. The lower house was elected every four years by manhood suffrage (women did not vote). The first Parliament met in 1925. Ten general elections were held before the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958. The electoral system, however, was manipulated by the King and his advisors, who were Sunni Muslims, to ensure that the Shi'a majority were prevented from taking power.
Between 1958 and 2003 Iraq was ruled by a series of military governments, all dominated by Iraqi Arabs, particularly after the emergence of the Ba'ath Party in the early 1960s. Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, who came to power in 1979, Kurds were persecuted. Furthermore, Arabs who were non-Ba'athist or non-Arab inclined (most notably those of Shi'ite faith) were also persecuted. Saddam's rule was largely run by Arabs from Tikrit (a mainly Sunni area), his home region. On October 16, 2002, after a well-publicized show election, Iraqi officials declared that Saddam had been re-elected to another seven-year term as President by a 100% unanimous vote of all 11,445,638 eligible Iraqis, eclipsing the 99.96% received in 1995. Outside governments dismissed the vote as lacking credibility.
An initial Iraqi attempt at holding local elections was canceled by Paul Bremer.
This government held elections on January 30, 2005 to begin the process of writing a constitution. International groups and the formerly excluded factions claimed that the January 2005 elections were the first free elections in Iraq's history, with a fair representation of all groups. This is in stark contrast to previous elections. After the 16 October, 2002 referendum on the extension of his role as President, Saddam Hussein claimed that %100 of the voters voted "yes" and that %100 of Iraqi's had voted (approximately 24,001,820 people). Opponents of the occupation, such as the various insurgent groups, claimed the elections were not free and fair, citing flaws in the process. The UN adviser to Iraq's election commission Craig Jenness said the complaints were not significant; "I don't see anything that would necessitate a rerun...There were nearly 7,000 candidates standing in this election and only 275 seats, so you're always going to have winners and losers and it's normal that the losers won't always be happy about it."
2010 National Elections
|Alliances and parties||Votes||%||Seats||+/–|
|Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiya)||2,849,612||24.72%||91||54|
|State of Law Coalition||2,792,083||24.22%||89||64|
|National Iraqi Alliance||2,092,066||18.15%||70||35|
|Movement for Change (Gorran)||476,478||4.13%||8||8|
|Unity Alliance of Iraq||306,647||2.66%||4||4|
|Iraqi Accord Front (al-Tawafuq)||298,226||2.59%||6||38|
|Kurdistan Islamic Union||243,720||2.12%||4||1|
|Islamic Group of Kurdistan||152,530||1.32%||2||1|
|Total (turnout 62.4 %)||11,526,412||100%||325||50|
2010 national election
The Federal Supreme Court gave its opinion on 13 May 2009 following the request of the Speaker of the Council of Representatives to the Court in its capacity as interpreter of the Constitution under Article 93(2). The issue arising was the interpretation of Article 56 of the constitution which states:
First: The electoral term of the Council of Representatives shall be four calendar years, starting with its first session and ending with the conclusion of the fourth year.
Second: The new Council of Representatives shall be elected forty-five days before the conclusion of the preceding electoral term. The previous election had been on 15 December 2005.
The opening session of the Council of Representatives had been 16 March 2006 (the swearing in session) and the first substantive session of the Council of Representatives was then held on 22 April 2006. The Court was of the opinion that the swearing in session on 16 March 2006 was the "first session" as required by Article 56(First). It therefore followed that the conclusion of the 4th year would be on 15 March 2010 and that the election should be 45 days prior to 15 March 2010, i.e. 30 January 2010. The court decided that the Calendar year referred to was the 365 day Gregorian year (and not for example the 360 day Hijri year).
2013 Provincial Councils (Local Government) Elections
Overall Turnout: 51% (Similar to Turnout in 2009 Elections)
Number of Registered Eligible voters: Approx. 13,800,000 (Including 14,000 prisoners, 55,000 hospital patients and 53,000 displaced Iraqis eligible to vote).
Number of voters turned out: 6,400,777 voter
Elections are held: 12 provinces (out of 18 provinces).
4 Provinces are part of the semi-autonomous region Kurdistan with their Elections in September 2013, 2 provinces (Anbar, Nineveh) have requested to postpone their elections due to security reasons.
No. of seats contested: 378 seats in Province Councils (Local Government).
Total Number of Candidates: 8138 Candidate
Female Candidates: 2205 Candidate
Male Candidates: 5933 Candidate
This is the 6th Voting exercise by Iraqis in 10 years.
2004 National Assembly Elections 2005 Constitution Referendum 2005 Parliamentary Elections 2009 Provincial Councils 2010 Parliamentary elections 2013 Provincial Council (Saturday 20th April)
Number of Parties and Alliances competing: 256 Political Entity and 50 Political Alliance
International Independent Observers (non-Iraqi): 350 Observer
Local Independent Observer: 6,000 Observer
Political Parties’ Observers (Political Entity Representatives): 267,388 representative
Polling Stations: 5,370 (5,178)¹
Ballot Boxes: 32,445 (32,201)² election ballot box
Including Polling Stations in Prisons, Hospitals.
Polling Stations Opening Time: 07:00 to 17:00 (Baghdad Time)
IHEC Help Centre Freephone: 2800 calls received from Voters. (The freephone number is 5777)
Local Help Centres set-up by IHEC: 12 Help Centres (One in every province).
IHEC staff (Including reserve staff): 180,000 Member of Staff
100% of Staff in this election were Iraqis.
Local Journalists and Media: 2,256 Registered Journalist
International Journalists: 187 Journalist.
Iraq' Oil City Basrah
In Iraq's Oil CIty Basrah the numbers were as follows: Voter Turnout: 42%
Registered Eligible Voters: Approx. 1,600,000 Iraqis
Ballots Cast: Approx. 650,000 ballots
Candidates: 656 Candidate
Contested Seats: 35 Council Seats (1 Seat reserved for Christian quota)
Political Entities: 25 (Party and Alliance)
In the first Elections since the withdrawal of U.S forces the Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission (IHEC) has confirmed that 6,400,777 voters have cast their votes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elections in Iraq.|
- Assyrian elections in Iraq
- History of Iraq
- Electoral calendar
- Electoral system
- Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement referendum, 2010
- Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission
- Op-Ed by former Iraqi Premier Ayad Allawi on Iraqi electoral reform
- Adam Carr's Election Archive
- UN rules out Iraqi election rerun
- UN-led team finds Iraq election credible
- Iraq's Electoral system is a part of the problem says Regional Expert
- Provincial Elections in Iraq: Blow to Confessionalism (Qantara.de)
- Global Justice Project: Iraq
- Iraq Inter-Agency Information & Analysis Unit Reports, Maps and Assessments of Iraq from the UN Inter-Agency Information & Analysis Unit