|This article is part of a series on the|
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 and Shi'a majority were persecuted. Saddam's rule was largely run by Sunni Arabs from Tikrit (a mainly Sunni area), his home region. On 16 October 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.
The multinational force's 2003 invasion of Iraq overthrew Saddam's government and installed an interim administration.
An initial Iraqi attempt at holding local elections was canceled by Paul Bremer.
This government held elections on 30 January 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."
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 fourth 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).
|Iraqi National Movement||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||476,478||4.13||8||+8|
|Iraqi Accord Front||298,226||2.59||6||–38|
|Unity Alliance of Iraq||306,647||2.66||4||+4|
|Kurdistan Islamic Union||243,720||2.12||4||–1|
|Islamic Group of Kurdistan||152,530||1.32||2||+1|
|Reserved Seats for Ethnic Minorities||61,153||0.53||8||+6|
|Note: Results listed according to number of seats won. |
Source: IHEC, Afaq
This is the sixth voting exercise by Iraqis in 10 years:
In Basrah the numbers were as follows: Voter turnout: 42%
Registered eligible voters: Approx. 1,600,000 
Ballots cast: Approx. 650,000 
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) confirmed that 6,400,777 voters cast their votes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elections in Iraq.|