Iraqi governorate elections, 2009
Governorate or provincial elections were held in Iraq on 31 January 2009, to replace the local councils in fourteen of the eighteen governorates of Iraq that were elected in the Iraqi governorate elections of 2005. 14,431 candidates - including 3,912 women - contested 440 seats. The candidates came from over 400 parties - 75 % of. In February 2008, the Iraqi Parliament passed a Provincial Powers Act by a majority of one, with many members of parliament not present at the proceedings, it included giving the Prime Minister the power to dismiss a governor of a province, a measure that would have left considerable power in the hands of the Shi'a dominated central government in Baghdad. The Act required a Provincial Elections Law to be passed within the next 90 days and for elections to be held no than the beginning of October 2008; the Presidency Council referred the law back, saying it did not comply with the constitutional rights of governorates. It was reported that vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, whose Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council party is strong in many southern Iraqi governorate councils objected.
However, the Council reversed its position following protests from the Sadrist Movement, saying they would instead seek changes to the law before it came into force. In July 2008 the Iraqi Election Commission proposed postponing the elections until December because delays in passing the election law had left too little time to prepare; the Provincial Elections bill was approved by the Council of Representatives on 22 July 2008 despite a walkout by members of the Kurdistani Alliance over a clause making Kirkuk Governorate council a power-sharing arrangement. The next day the Presidency Council of Iraq, consisting of President Jalal Talabani, Kurdish, Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi'ite Arab, Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, unanimously agreed to reject the bill because of the Kirkuk clause, send it back to the Council of Representatives to reconsider; the second draft was ratified by the Presidency Council on 7 October 2008, who stated that a minority clause may be added later.
A minority clause was added on 3 November. The original draft proposed delaying the election in Kirkuk Governorate until after the referendum to decide its precise status has been held. However, a group of Turkmen and Arab MPs proposed a power-sharing clause, establishing a provincial council consisting of ten Kurds, ten Arabs, ten Turkmens and two Assyrians; this clause was included in the draft election bill put to the Iraqi Council of Representatives in July 2008, led to the Kurdish parties walking out in protest, complaining "If you pick the seats before the election, why vote?" The law was nonetheless approved on 22 July 2008. However, President Jalal Talabani, Kurdish, Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi'ite Arab, have agreed they would reject the bill, hence it would be sent back to the Council of Representatives to reconsider. Parliamentary summer recess started on 30 July 2008, but a special session was called for 3 August 2008 to find a solution to the Kirkuk issue. At that meeting, no solution was reached.
It was postponed to 9 September 2008, with a committee working on a compromise solution until then. At that session, no resolution was reached, negotiations continued on 10 September 2008 in the form of a special six-member panel formed for this occasion; the law was passed on 24 September 2008 and the election is expected to be held by 31 January 2009. A special panel was to work on a solution on Kirkuk and report back by 31 March 2009; the United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura proposed holding elections in all governorates except Kirkuk, deferring the Kirkuk elections for six months in order to find an acceptable compromise. A draft bill based on this proposal was debated on 6 August and accepted by the Kurdistani Alliance but opposed by the Iraqi Turkmen Front, Iraqi Accord Front and Sadrist Movement who objected to the draft law's reference to the Kirkuk status referendum and insisted on delaying the entire elections until a solution was found. Under Article 50 of the draft Elections law, religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis would be reserved a number of seats in the provincial assemblies.
This clause was removed in the final draft, with legislators citing a lack of census data for determining the appropriate number of seats. Five thousand Christians demonstrated in Mosul against this change, saying it was a "marginalisation of their rights" and the head of the Assyrian Church of the East wrote to the Presidency Council asking them to veto the law. Prime Minister al-Maliki said he was concerned and called on parliament and the Iraqi High Electoral Commission to "remove all the concerns and the sense of exclusion felt by some segments of Iraqi society". Kurdish MP Mahmoud Othman called on the Presidency Council of Iraq to use its review process to force an amendment to include a minority quota, saying "The rule of the majority means there should be protection of the minorities" A Sadrist leader said Christians should be allowed to "contribute to the building of the Iraqi state" and the removal of this clause "threatened the unity of Iraq" The UN Special Envoy criticised the removal of the minorities clause.
A minority clause was added on 3 November 2008, although it only provided for six special seats instead of twelve as recommended by the UN. The Christian
2010 Iraqi parliamentary election
A parliamentary election was held in Iraq on 7 March 2010. The election decided the 325 members of the Council of Representatives of Iraq who would elect the Iraqi prime minister and president; the election resulted in a partial victory for the Iraqi National Movement, led by former Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, which won a total of 91 seats, making it the largest alliance in the Council. The State of Law Coalition, led by incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, was the second largest grouping with 89 seats. Prior to the election, the Supreme Court in Iraq ruled that the existing electoral law/rule was unconstitutional, a new elections law made changes in the electoral system. On 15 January 2010, the Independent High Electoral Commission banned 499 candidates from the election due to alleged links with the Ba'ath Party. Before the start of the campaign on 12 February 2010, IHEC confirmed that the appeals by banned candidates had been rejected and thus all 456 banned candidates would not be allowed to run for the election.
The turnout was low compared to the elections of 2005. There were numerous allegations of fraud, a recount of the votes in Baghdad was ordered on 19 April 2010. On 14 May IHEC announced that after 11,298 ballot boxes had been recounted, there was no sign of fraud or violations; the new parliament opened on 14 June 2010. After months of fraught negotiations, an agreement was reached on the formation of a new government on 11 November. Talabani would continue as president, Al-Maliki would stay on as prime minister and Allawi would head a new security council; the necessary election law was only passed on 8 November 2009, the UN Mission in Iraq, helping with the elections, estimated that it needed 90 days to plan for the election. The electoral commission asked for a delay from the original date of 15 January. Iraqi Vice President Tariq Al-Hashimi vetoed the election law on 18 November 2009, delaying the election, scheduled for 21 January. Prior to the election, the Supreme Court in Iraq ruled that the existing electoral rule was unconstitutional.
The parliament therefore set about drafting a new electoral law. The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft elections law in September 2009. However, it took ten delays for the law to pass in the Council of Representatives; the main areas of dispute concerned the "open list" electoral system and the voters roll in Kirkuk Governorate, which Arab and Turkmen parties alleged had been manipulated by the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. UNAMI advised the electoral system was changed to allow people to vote for individuals as well as party lists under the open list form of proportional representation; the last national elections had used a closed list system, but the Iraqi governorate elections of 2009 had used open lists. The move was supported by parliamentarians from ISCI, the most senior Iraqi Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned that failure to adopt the open list system would have "negative impacts on the democratic process" and would reduce turnout and aides said he may call for a boycott of the polls if closed lists were used again.
In the end, all parties except for the Kurdistani Alliance agreed to support open lists, adopted. In Kirkuk Governorate, it was proposed to use old 2004 electoral rolls. However, Kurds protested about this, given the large number of Kurdish people who had settled there since then. UNAMI proposed that Kirkuk be divided into two or more ethnic constituencies, with the Kurdish constituency given an automatic quota of 50% plus one; when put to parliament, this proposal was blocked by Arab MPs. The issue was referred to the Political Council for National Security, which comprises the President, Prime Minister and party leaders; the Council proposed to combine the electoral rolls from 2004 and 2009, but when this was put to parliament, it was blocked by Kurds. UNAMI proposed using the 2009 records but revisiting for future elections; when put to a vote the Kurdish MPs walked out. The final law said that the results in Kirkuk - and other governorates where the rolls were deemed "dubious" - would be provisional, subject to review within the first year by a committee formed out of the electoral commission, government and UNAMI, which could cancel fraudulent ballots.
The law was passed with 80 members absent. The law increased the size of the Council from 275 to 325 members - equal to one seat per 100,000 citizens, as specified in the Constitution of Iraq; as with the December 2005 election, seats will be allocated by governorate with additional "compensatory" seats allocated to those parties whose national share of the vote isn't reflected in the seats won at the governorate level. The votes of Iraqis living abroad would have been counted in the compensatory seats, which were reduced from 45 seats to 16 and eight of these 16 seats were allocated to specific national minorities - five for Iraqi Christians and one each for Yazidis and Mandaeans. Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi said the small number of compensatory seats discriminated against the estimated 2 million Iraqi refugees, many of whom are Sunni Arabs like al-Hashimi, he demanded that the number of compensatory seats be increased to 15% and went on national television to say he would veto the law if it weren't amended.
Sunni Arab parliamentarian Saleh al-Mutlaq said 30 seats should be allocated to Iraqis abroad to reflect their numbers. President Jalal Talabani supported the increase to 15%, after receiving a letter from Kurdish regional MPs saying their allies from minority groups would be unfairly treated. In the event President Talabani and Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi sign
Prime Minister of Iraq
The Prime Minister of Iraq is the head of government of Iraq. The Prime Minister was an appointed office, subsidiary to the head of state, the nominal leader of the Iraqi parliament. Under the newly adopted constitution the Prime Minister is the country's active executive authority. Nouri al-Maliki was selected to be Prime Minister on 21 April 2006. On 14 August 2014, al-Maliki agreed to step down as prime minister of Iraq to allow Haider al-Abadi to take his place. On 25 October 2018, Adil Abdul-Mahdi was sworn into office five months after the 2018 elections; the Council of Representatives elected the President of the Republic and his Deputies, including the President of the Council of Ministers. The Presidency Council shall name a Prime Minister unanimously. According to this, The Presidency Council must agree on a candidate for the post within two weeks. In the event that it fails to do so, the responsibility of naming the Prime Minister reverts to the National Assembly. In that event, the Council of Representatives must confirm the nomination by an absolute majority.
If the Prime Minister is unable to nominate his Council of Ministers within one month, the Presidency Council shall name another Prime Minister. The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Bureau reports to the Prime Minister directly; the Iraqi CTB oversees the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Command, a formation that includes all Iraqi Special Operations Forces. As of 30 June 2009, there had been legislation in progress for a year to make the Iraqi CTB a separate ministry. List of Prime Ministers of Iraq List of Kings of Iraq List of Presidents of Iraq
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k
Council of Representatives of Iraq
The Council of Representatives is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of Iraq. It is composed of 329 seats and meets in Baghdad inside the Green Zone. An elected Iraqi parliament first formed following the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 1925; the 1925 constitution called for a bicameral parliament whose lower house, the Chamber of Deputies or Council of Representatives would be elected based on universal manhood suffrage. The upper house, the Senate was appointed by the king. Sixteen elections took place between 1925 and the coup of 1958. On January 17, 1953 elections for the Chamber of Deputies took place. Following controversy over the implementation of the so-called Baghdad Pact, Prime Minister Nuri Pasha as-Said called for elections the following year, in early 1954. As-Said dissolved the assembly shortly thereafter and began to rule by decree, but opposition forced him to hold a third election within three years; the second 1954 election was corrupt, with as-Said's political enemies banned from running, widespread voter coercion.
The assembly was suspended yet again, in 1958 a military coup deposed as-Said and the monarchy, abolished the parliament. The 1970 constitution created a republic with an elected National Assembly. However, elections for the Assembly did not take place until June 1980, under Iraq's new military president, Saddam Hussein. Several more elections took place between 1989 and 2003; the new Assembly was a figurehead that would rubber stamp the president's decrees. Elections for its members were not considered fair by the international community. Only members of Hussein's own Baath Party were elected. In 2003, Saddam Hussein was forcibly removed from power by the United States of America, the United Kingdom and their allies during the Iraq War. In March 2004 a governing council set up by the Coalition Provisional Authority signed an interim constitution which called for the election of a transitional National Assembly no than the end of January 2005; this Assembly would draft a permanent constitution which would be submitted to approval by the Iraqi people in a general referendum.
Elections for this transitional National Assembly took place on January 30, 2005. The United Iraqi Alliance Party won the majority of seats with 48% of the popular vote resulting in 140 seats. Eighty-five members of the assembly were women. Talks between the UIA and other parties to form a coalition government began soon after the election; the assembly had its first meeting on March 16, 2005. After weeks of negotiations between the dominant political parties, on April 4, 2005, Sunni Arab Hajim al-Hassani was chosen as speaker; the Assembly elected Jalal Talabani to head the Presidency Council on April 6, approved the selection of Ibrahim al-Jaafari and his cabinet on April 28. Under the permanent constitution approved on October 15, 2005, legislative authority is vested in two bodies, the Council of Representatives and the Council of Union; the Council of Representatives consists of 325 members elected for four years, with two sessions in each annual term. The Council passes federal laws, oversees the executive, ratifies treaties, approves nominations of specified officials.
It elects the president of the republic, who selects a prime minister from the majority coalition in the Council. Elections for the Council of Representatives were held on December 15, 2005; the Council first met on March 16, 2006 one year after the first meeting of the transitional assembly. The Council of Representatives of Iraq has the same name in Arabic as the lower legislative houses of Bahrain, Morocco and Yemen, as the unicameral legislatures of Lebanon and Tunisia. However, a number of different English terms are used to refer to these bodies; the Council of Union, or Federation Council, will consist of representatives from Iraq's regions and governorates. Its precise composition and responsibilities are not defined in the constitution and will be determined by the Council of Representatives. On, April 12, 2007, Mohammed Awad, a political party member of the Iraqi National Dialogue Council, was killed at the convention centre canteen of the parliament building, 22 were wounded, in the 2007 Iraqi Parliament Bombing.
A group of Sunni lawmakers boycotted parliament in a June 2007 protest of the removal of the speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, after a series of controversial actions. They returned in July after the speaker was re-instated with the understanding that he would resign after a few sessions. A group of Shiite members returned in July after a boycott which gained them an investigation into the bombing of a Shiite mosque, along with reconstruction and improved security; the parliament was under pressure from the United States to pass legislation dealing with members of the Baath party, distribution of oil revenues, regional autonomy, constitutional reform, by September 2007. The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft elections law in September 2009. However, it took ten delays for the law to pass in the Council of Representatives; the main areas of dispute concerned the "open list" electoral system and the voters roll in Kirkuk Governorate, which Arab and Turkmen parties alleged had been manipulated by the Kurdistan Regional Government of
2013 Iraqi governorate elections
Governorate or provincial elections were held in Iraq on 20 April 2013, to replace the local councils in the governorates of Iraq that were elected in the Iraqi governorate elections of 2009. Elections took place in 12 of Iraq's 18 governorates. Elections didn't take place in the 3 governorates forming the Kurdistan Region or Kirkuk, Anbar, or Ninevah, meaning that a total of 378 provincial council seats were up for election; the Iraqi government decided on 19 March to delay the elections in the governorates of Anbar and Nineveh due to ongoing instability caused by the insurgency and the ongoing protests, prompting criticism from Muqtada al-Sadr and John Kerry. Elections for Anbar and Nineveh were held on 20 June. There have been several disputes about the electoral law, to be used for the election; the current electoral law, used in the 2009 election, states that if certain parties don't get enough votes, their votes and seats are given to the larger parties. In the 2009 election this led to many smaller parties failing to take any seats.
Because of the disproportionate affect this law had on smaller parties, the Supreme Court of Iraq declared the law unconstitutional, as it restricted democracy. In spite of this ruling, due to the fact that because the law benefits the largest parties they have little incentive to change it, the law has yet to be changed. If not changed, the unconstitutional nature of the law however would make the 2013 election results vulnerable to a legal challenge; as a result, although this does not effect the work of the Independent High Electoral Commission, IHEC has been calling on the Iraqi government to pass changes to the law. In response to this, on 13 December 2012 the Iraqi parliament voted to adopt the Sainte-Laguë method as the new electoral method. Parties and candidates wishing to stand for election had to register by the deadline of 25 November 2012. By the time of the deadline 243 entities, including 16 independent candidates, had registered, with some of the entities registering to participate for the first time.
As a result of the large number of applications submitted for the registration of political coalitions for the election, IHEC decided to extend the deadline for submissions from the 13th to the 18th of December. One of the biggest changes to the political coalitions taking part is the fact that the State of Law Coalition has expanded from its traditional supporters, with former opponents such as the Badr Organization, the National Reform Trend, the Islamic Virtue Party, the secular Shiite White Iraqiya Bloc all joining the coalition for the election. Despite the massive size of the coalition, it is Shiite. According to IHEC, a total of 8,224 candidates registered to run in the elections, including 131 candidates who have since been barred by IHEC from running due to their ties to the Iraqi Ba'ath Party. According to preliminary results from the 12 governorates were elections were held, Nouri al-Maliki's expanded State of Law Coalition would come in first place with 115 seats, second would come ISCI with 80 seats and Sadr Movement would win 50.
With 87-90% of the vote counted, the results were as following