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Iraqi Elections: January 30, 2005

Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 25, 2005

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Boys playing ball infront of election banners, close up of a ballot, man reading voting guidelines and a woman in front of campaing posters
"I believe that the unity of the country will be enhanced, will be strengthened by the process of an election...­. This is a process.  It is not the end of the process on the 30th of January."
-Iyad Allawi, Iraq's Interim Prime Minister

The Iraqi people will participate in democratic elections on January 30 for the first time in more than 30 years to elect a Transitional National Assembly, provincial councils for each of Iraq's provinces, and a Kurdistan Regional Government. Over 80% of Iraqis recently polled in a survey for the International Republican Institute said they intend to vote.

The Road to Democracy

February 2005

  • Transitional National Assembly (TNA) expected to be seated.
  • TNA elects the Presidency Council -- a President and two Vice Presidents.
  • Presidency Council unanimously selects Prime Minister.
  • Cabinet ministers appointed by the Presidency Council at the recommendation of the Prime
  • The TNA, by a majority vote, will approve the Prime Minister and his or her cabinet.

October 2005

  • National referendum on new permanent constitution drafted by TNA.

December 2005

  • Iraqi people elect new government under the permanent constitution.

 A New Government

  • A 275-member Transitional National Assembly (TNA), with the goal of 25% female representation, will be elected.
  • APresidency Council, consisting of a President and two Vice Presidents, will be elected by the TNA. The Presidency Council will unanimously select a Prime Minister and approve his or her selection of cabinet ministers.
  • The TNA, by a majority vote, will approve the Prime Minister and his or her cabinet.
  • Provincial Councils and a Kurdistan National Assembly also will be elected on January 30.
  • The TNA will write Iraq¡¯s permanent constitution and submit it to the Iraqi people in a referendum for approval by October 2005.
  • A new government operating under the permanent constitution is expected to be elected by the end of 2005.

The Voting Process

  • More than 14 million Iraqis are registered to vote at nearly 6,000 voting centers across Iraq. Iraqis living abroad will be able to register and vote in 14 other countries.
  • There are 256 political entities composed of nearly 19,000 candidates who are running for the National Assembly, the provincial councils, and the Kurdistan National Assembly.
  • The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) is responsible for ensuring a fair and transparent process. The UN Electoral Assistance Division is advising the IECI.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are providing technical support to the IECI and the Iraqi Interim Government. The IECI and various NGOs have conducted voter education campaigns in Iraq.
  • The United States¡¯ and the Coalition¡¯s limited role consists mainly of providing financial support for the implementation and logistics of the election. The United States has offered more than $40 million; Japan, $40 million; and the EU, $38 million.
  • Military forces from 29 countries are working alongside Iraqi forces to help establish stability and security throughout Iraq.
  • The Ministry of Interior is primarily responsible for security at election sites on election day. Iraqi National Guard and Iraqi military forces will also be engaged. Coalition forces stand ready to provide reinforcement and support when requested.

Iraqi Democracy

  • The January 30 elections will give the Iraqi people their first democratically elected government in more than three decades.
  • The election will show the shared desire among Iraqis to exercise their democratic rights under difficult conditions.

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