At stake in this election:
- 325 seats in the Council of Representatives (Majlis an-Nuwwab al-`Iraqiyy)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Jalal TALABANI *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI
- Assembly: Iraq has a unicameral Council of Representatives (Majlis an-Nuwwab al-`Iraqiyy) with 325 seats.
* The President is one of three members of a Transitional Presidency Council, which is elected by the legislature.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by parliament to serve a 4-year term.
- The Prime Minister is elected by parliament.
- In the Council of Representatives (Majlis an-Nuwwab al-`Iraqiyy) 325 members are elected through an open-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
*** A new electoral law in 2009 increased the size of the Council from 275 members (formerly 230 seats from party lists in each governorate and 45 national compensatory seats) and replaced a closed-list system with open party lists. Under the new system, 310 seats are apportioned among 18 governorates, 7 are nationwide compensatory seats, 8 are reserved to minority groups in specific governorates (Christian (5), Sabean (1), Shabak(1), and Yizidi(1)). The Christian seats are, however, voted for across the national constituency. Constitutionally, the membership of the Council is to seek to achieve at least 25% (82 seats) representation of women. The 7 national compensatory seats are awarded to lists based on the country-wide proportion of seats won at the governorate-level tier. The Council election also allows for the participation of out-of-country voters (OCV), who are able to vote at the governorate-level tier. For more information, see IHEC and UNAMI links in the Iraq Country Profile.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Alliance: Iraqi National Alliance
Leader: Ammar al-HAKIM
- Alliance: State of Law Coalition
Leader: Nouri al-MALIKI
- Alliance: Iraqi National Movement
Leader: Iyad al-ALLAWI
- Alliance: Unity Alliance of Iraq
Leader: Jawad BOLANI
- Alliance: Iraqi Accord
Leader: Osama TIKRITI
- Alliance: Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan******
Leader: Jalal TALABANI
- Party: Gorran-Movement for Change
Leader: Nusherwan MUSTAFA
- Party: Islamic Union of Kurdistan
Leader: Salaheddin BAHAEDDIN
****** Comprises the KDP and PUK.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 28,945,569 (July 2009 est.)
- Registered Voters: 19,000,000 (March 2010 Approximate)