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Council of Representatives of Iraq ()

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A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name Council of Representatives of Iraq
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 7 March 2010
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the Council of Representatives of Iraq.
On 8 December 2009, the Presidential Council called elections to the enlarged 325-member Council of Representatives, up from 275, for 7 March 2010. They had initially been set for 16 January 2010 but were postponed due to the late passing of the new electoral law, which had been vetoed twice by Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi. He had sought changes to the distribution of seats so as to ensure a greater political voice for the Sunni Muslim minority. Over 97 per cent of the country's 28 million inhabitants are Muslim, of whom around 65 per cent are Shiite and the rest are Sunnis.

The new electoral law maintained the 25 per cent quota for women, or 82 seats. It reserved eight seats for minorities (see note 1). It made provisions for internally displaced persons (IDPs, see note 2), allowing some 97,000 IDPs to vote anywhere in the country.

In the previous elections held in December 2005 and boycotted by a large proportion of the Sunni community, the Unified Iraqi Coalition (UIC), representing the Shiite community, took 128 of the 275 seats at stake. The Kurdish Gathering (Alliance) came in second with 53 seats. The Tawafoq (Accord) Iraqi Front and the Hewar (Dialogue) National Iraqi Front - both representing Sunni Muslims - took 44 and 11 seats respectively. The Iraqi List of former prime minister Iyad Allawi took 25 seats, while the remaining seats went to small parties.

After lengthy negotiations, in April 2006, the Council of Representatives re-elected Mr. Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as President of the Republic, who then appointed Mr. Nouri al-Maliki of the Unified Iraqi Coalition as Prime Minister.

In early 2009, the UIC split into the State of Law coalition, led by Prime Minister Maliki, and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), led by Mr. Ammar Hakim. The former includes Mr. Maliki's Dawa Party and the Anbar Salvation Front. The INA includes Mr. Hakim's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, the Iraqi National Congress, the Badr Organization, the Sadrists, the Fadhila (Islamic Virtue Party), the Shiite Turkmen Movement, as well as a group of Dawa Party dissidents led by former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

In November 2009, the Kurdish Alliance (Kurdistania) united 14 parties. They include the two biggest parties - the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by Iraqi President Talabani, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masud Barzani. Mr. Nawshirwan Mostaf's Goran (Change) Movement and two other Kurdish parties - Jamaa Islamia and the Kurdistan Islamic Union - preferred to stay out of the Alliance.

In all, 6,529 candidates representing 86 parties were vying for seats in the 2010 elections. The Election Commission rejected the candidature of nearly 500 candidates because of their alleged ties to the dissolved Baath Party (the former ruling party under Saddam Hussein's regime). These included several prominent Sunni lawmakers including Defence Minister Abdulqadir al-Obeidi.

Most parties ran on a similar platform, focusing on the security situation in the country. Prime Minister al-Maliki's State of Law coalition pledged to provide better services and security and to work towards reconciliation and reconstruction.

The State of Law coalition was challenged by the INA and the Iraqi National Movement (INM), a secularist coalition led by former prime minister Allawi, himself a secular Shiite. The INM comprised Mr. Allawi's Iraqi National Accord, the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, and other smaller Sunni parties. Prominent INM members include Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi (a Sunni Muslim), and senior Sunni politician Saleh al-Mutlaq, who was barred from running in the 2010 polls. The INM opposed regional interference in Iraqi affairs, referring to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which it accused of backing both the State of Law and the INA coalitions.

To ensure security, all vehicles - except for those belonging to the security forces, election workers and the media - were banned on election day. The Election Commission set up 50,000 polling stations so that most voters could find a polling station within a short walking distance from their home. Only 420 voters were registered at each polling station so that polling stations would not be overwhelmed by large numbers of voters.

Despite numerous threats from extremists, including Al-Qaida, to disrupt elections, 62.4 per cent of the 18.9 million registered voters in Iraq turned out at the polls on 7 March. Some 100,000 of the 1.3 million Iraqi nationals abroad registered to vote in 2010. They voted in 16 countries (see note 3).

Even with the enhanced security measures, several blasts killed nearly 40 people on polling day.

The United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) sent election observers. The UN congratulated the Iraqi people and the government of holding successful elections. The EU stated that the elections had shown "the commitment of the Iraqi people to a democratic Iraq". They both praised the high turnout.

The final results gave 91 seats to Mr. Allawi's INM, two more than Prime Minister Maliki's State of Law coalition. The INA and the Kurdish Alliance took 70 and 43 seats respectively. In all, 82 women were elected.

On 14 June, the newly elected Council of Representatives held its first session, chaired by Acting Speaker, Mr. Fuad Masum. He said there was a need for further consultations among the blocs and deputies to elect a Speaker, and ended the session by stating "the session will remain open and we will resume it later on". Consultations remained deadlocked, and on 24 October the Supreme Court ordered the Council of Representatives to reconvene to elect a new Speaker and a government.

On 11 November, the Council of Representatives reconvened for the first time since June and elected Mr. Osama al-Nujaifi (INM) as new Speaker. This followed a deal the previous day among the major parties on the formation of a new government. Speaker Nujaifi asked that details of the government formation deal be ratified through a vote. However, members voted not to debate the issue, triggering the walk out of all INM members, except the Speaker. The remaining members subsequently re-elected Mr. Talabani as President who then re-appointed Mr. al-Maliki as Prime Minister.

Note 1:
Five seats are reserved for Christians, while one seat each is reserved for the Sabean, the Yzidi and the Shabak communities.

Note 2:
An internally displaced person is defined as "an Iraqi who has been forcefully displaced from his permanent place of residence to another place within Iraq after April 9, 2003, for any reason".

Note 3:
Iraqi citizens living abroad cast their votes in Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Voter turnout
Round no 17 March 2010
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Compensatory seats
Iraqi National Movement (INM, Al-Iraqiya Coalition) 91 2
State of Law coalition 89 2
Iraqi National Alliance (INA) 70 2
Kurdish Alliance (Kurdistania) 43 1
Goran Movement (for Change) 8 0
Tawafoq Iraqi Front (Al-Tawafiq list) 6 0
Iraq Unity coalition 4 0
Al-Rafidian list 3 3
Kurdistan Islamic Union 3 0
Kurdish Islamic Party 3 0
Chaldeo-Assyrian-Syriac Public Council 2 2
Ayazei Movement for Reforming 1 1
Representative of Shabak community 1 1
Representative of Sabean community 1 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- Council of Representatives of Iraq (07.04.2010, 03.05.2010, 11.11.2010)
- http://www.ihec.iq/English/press_releases.aspx

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