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The Iraqi vote: How it works

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posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 12:46 PM
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I've seen quite a few threads on the election in Iraq and a number of questions asking how the election works, who's being elected, etc, etc. So, insted of posting this everywhere, I've decided to make one thread with the info I found.

From Reuters


These are key facts about the vote:

WHO IS BEING ELECTED?

Voters elect 275 members of a national assembly, whose key task will be to debate and approve a new constitution. They also elect members of 18 provincial assemblies and the autonomous Kurdish parliament in the north.

The national assembly will pick a new government to succeed the interim administration, which was formed in June last year by the U.S.-led occupation authority, in consultation with the United Nations.

The assembly is meant to be dissolved and a new parliament elected according to the new constitution by the end of 2005.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

On Sunday, all Iraqis over the age of 18 on Jan. 1 were allowed to vote -- perhaps some 15 million of a population of about 27 million. The election register is based on the ration list, a relic of U.N. sanctions.

Voters had to take two forms of photo identification to their local polling station. After voting, their name was crossed off the register and their thumb marked with indelible ink to prevent repeat voting.

There was one national ballot, without constituencies. Voters cast one vote for a list of candidates put forward by a party or coalition.

There were about 40,000 voting booths in 6,000 to 9,000 polling stations, including some in 14 foreign countries where Iraqi expatriates were entitled to vote from Jan. 28 to 30.

Seats are allocated by proportional representation, so a list that wins 20 percent of the vote will receive 55 seats, attributed to the top 55 names on its list.

WHO IS STANDING?

In all, 256 groups and individuals registered. But many either did not field candidates or joined 33 coalition lists, leaving the ballot paper featuring about 100 choices.

Most parties reflect sectarian and ethnic divides.

Shi'ite Muslims, the long-oppressed 60 percent majority, are likely to have backed Shi'ite parties, some overtly religious, others secular.

Most Kurds, accounting for 10 to 15 percent of Iraqis, are expected to have backed one of two big Kurdish parties.

Sunni Arabs, about 20 percent of the population, dominated Saddam's regime and earlier administrations and some Sunni parties have called for an election boycott. But many Sunni groups stood in the poll.




posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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* Bump *

Nice to present this, sensfan, for some clarity about a process rather than puffery about liberation and democracy.

It will be interesting to compare results with expectations, eight days from now, to see what happens and to what extent a new government can be formed and accepted.

No exit poll controversies in sight, and no accusations about fraud or fake elections! Except Mikhail Gorbachev and a few other world leaders and former world leaders, but perhaps their assessment doesn't matter?



 
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