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Iraq: Electoral System
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > Government Overview > Electoral System


The minimum voting age is 18. Elections are supervised by the Independent Electoral Commission, a federal agency under the supervision of the Council of Representatives. Under the permanent government, the Supreme Federal Court has final approval authority for election results. Following approval of a national constitution in October 2005, new parliamentary elections chose a permanent Council of Representatives. Of the 275 seats filled, 230 were distributed in proportion to population among the 18 governorates (provinces). As the most populous, the Baghdad Governorate was allotted 59 seats. The remaining 45 seats were distributed as “compensation” to parties whose vote totals exceeded their proportional representation among the first 230 seats. The electoral system stipulates that at least one-quarter of National Assembly deputies must be women; the first permanent parliament had 69 women. All of Iraq’s ethnic and religious communities also must be represented. The official turnout for the parliamentary elections of December 2005 was 79.6 percent, compared with 58 percent in the elections for the transitional parliament 11 months earlier. The disparity was partly the result of a substantial boycott by Sunnis of the first election.

Data as of August 2006

Last Updated: August 2006

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iraq was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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