At stake in this election:
- 328 seats in the Council of Representatives of Iraq
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 328 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- In the Council of Representatives (Majlis an-Nuwwab al-`Iraqiyy) 328 members are elected through an open-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.,
- On March 25, 2014, all nine members of the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) tendered their resignations. They cited a lack of independence due to an ongoing conflict between the ruling of a judicial panel and a parliamentary ruling on the meaning of an electoral statute that requires candidates to be “of good reputation.” The judicial panel had used that statute to disqualify several opponents of Prime Minister MALIKI without a clear avenue for repeal. Parliament, by contrast, ruled that individuals should not be disqualified under this statute unless they have been convicted of criminal offenses. After talks with several regional and international organizations, including the United Nations mission in Iraq, the commissioners rescinded their resignations on March 30.
Main coalitions in this electoral race:
- State of Law Coalition / ائتلاف دولة القانون
- Leader: Nuri al-MALIKI
- Seats won in last Council of Representatives election: 89
- Free Men Coalition / الأحرار ائتلاف (Ahrar)
- Leader: Muqtada al-SADR
- Citizen’s Coalition / ائتلاف المواطن (Muwatin)
- Leader: Ammar al-HAKIM
- National Coalition / ائتلاف الوطنية (Wataniyya)
- Leader: Iyad ALLAWI
- Arab Coalition / ائتلاف العربية (Arabiyya)
- Leader: Saleh al-MUTLAQ
- Uniting for Reform / متحدون الإصلاح (Mutahhidun)
- Leader: Usama al-NUJAYFI
- Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) / پارتی دیموکراتی کوردستان 
- Leader: Massoud BARZANI
- Seats won in last Council of Representatives election: 26
- The last elections to the Council of Representatives were held on March 7, 2010. A total of 85 coalitions participated in the elections; the results for the four largest coalitions are as follows: the Iraqi National Movement coalition received 2,849,612 votes (24.72%) and won 89 seats, the State of Law Coalition received 2,792,083 votes (24.22%) and won 87 seats, the Iraqi National Alliance received 2,092,066 votes (18.15%) and won 68 seats, and the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan received 1,681,714 votes (14.59%) and won 42 seats. Although the Iraqi National Movement won more seats than the State of Law Coalition, a Supreme Court ruling allowed the State of Law Coalition to unite with the Iraqi National Alliance to form a post-election coalition. This decision gave incumbent Prime Minister MALIKI the right to form the new government.
Population and Voter Registration:
- Population: 32,585,692 (July 2014 est.)
- Registered Voters: 20,453,696 (December 2013)
 Members of the Council of Representatives are elected by proportional representation with semi-open list balloting. A new electoral law in 2013 increased the size of the Council from 325 members to 328 members (formerly 310 seats from party lists in each governorate and 7 national compensatory seats). Under the new system, 320 seats are apportioned among 18 governorates and 8 are reserved to minority groups (Christian (5), Sabean (1), Shabak (1), and Yizidi (1)) in specific governorates. Constitutionally, the membership of the Council is to seek to achieve at least 25% (82 seats) representation of women. Each list must have 1 female candidate after each 3 male candidates. The Council election also allows for the participation of out-of-country voters (OCV), who are able to vote at the governorate-level tier.
 In November 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that calculating seats based on the largest remainder system was unconstitutional because it discriminated against smaller parties. The new method used to calculate seats will be a modified Sainte-Laguë method.
 There are 276 political entities are registered to participate in the elections. Most choose to form coalitions either before or after the elections. According to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), of 107 electoral lists, 39 will be coalitions and 68 will be independent entities. A list of all electoral entities can be found here (Arabic). A list of registered coalitions can be found here (Arabic).
 Nouri al-MALIKI is the leader of the Islamic Dawa Party.
 This coalition is commonly referred to as “Sadrist” due to the influence of the Sadrist Movement, led by Shia cleric Muqtada al-SADR. However, al-SADR’s involvement in politics in now in question after his announcement on February 16 that he is quitting politics and severing ties with his political party.
 Ammar al-HAKIM is the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), a major party in the coalition. ISCI ran as part of the National Iraqi Alliance (Watani) in 2010.
 Iyad ALLAWI is the leader of the Iraqi National Accord, or Wifaq party. Wifaq ran as part of the Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiya) in 2010.
 Saleh al-MUTLAQ is the leader of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, or Hiwar party. Hiwar ran as part of the Iraqi National Movement (al-Iraqiya) in 2010.
 Members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party ran as part of the Kurdistan Alliance list in 2010. In this election, the major elements of the Kurdistan Alliance will be running on separate lists.