Council of Representatives of Iraq
Under Saddam Hussein
The 1970 constitution created a republic with an elected National Assembly (al-Majlis al-Watani
). However, elections for the Assembly did not take place until June 1980, under Iraq's new military president, Saddam Hussein
. Several more elections took place between 1989 and 2003. Elections for its members were not considered free and fair by the international community. Only members of Hussein's own Baath Party
were ever elected.
The transitional period
Elections for this transitional National Assembly (al-Jam`iyya al-Wataniyya
) took place on January 30, 2005. The United Iraqi Alliance
Party won the majority
of seats with 48% of the popular vote resulting in 140 seats. Eighty-five members of the assembly were women.
The Constitution of 2005
Under the permanent constitution approved on October 15, 2005, legislative authority is vested in two bodies, the Council of Representatives and the Council of Union.
The Council of Representatives consists of 325 members elected for four years, with two sessions in each annual term. The Council passes federal laws, oversees the executive, ratifies treaties, and approves nominations of specified officials. It elects the president of the republic, who selects a prime minister from the majority coalition in the Council. (During an initial period, a three-member Presidential Council elected by the Council of Representatives will carry out the duties of the president of the republic.)
for the Council of Representatives were held on December 15, 2005. The Council first met on March 16, 2006, exactly one year after the first meeting of the transitional assembly.
The Council of Representatives of Iraq has the same name in Arabic (مجلس النواب, Majlis an-Nuwwab
) as the lower legislative houses of Bahrain
, and Yemen
, and as the unicameral legislatures of Lebanon
. However, a number of different English terms are used to refer to these bodies.
The Council of Union, or Federation Council (Majlis al-Ittihad), will consist of representatives from Iraq's regions and governorates. Its precise composition and responsibilities are not defined in the constitution and will be determined by the Council of Representatives.
2007 Iraqi Parliament bombing
This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2010)
A group of Sunni lawmakers boycotted parliament in a June 2007 protest of the removal of the speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani
, after a series of controversial actions. They returned in July after the speaker was re-instated with the understanding that he would quietly resign after a few sessions. A group of Shiite members also returned in July after a boycott which gained them an investigation into the bombing of a Shiite mosque, along with reconstruction and improved security. The parliament was under pressure from the United States to pass legislation dealing with members of the Baath party, distribution of oil revenues, regional autonomy, and constitutional reform, by September 2007.
2009 electoral reform
The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft elections law in September 2009. However, it took two months and ten delays for the law to pass in the Council of Representatives. The main areas of dispute concerned the "open list" electoral system and the voters roll in Kirkuk Governorate
, which Arab and Turkmen parties alleged had been manipulated by the Kurdistan Regional Government
The parliament was stormed by protesters in April 2016; the protestors also attacked buildings within the parliamentary complex.
2018 electoral reform
2019 electoral reform
As a result of the ongoing 2019 Iraqi protests
, the Council of Representatives approved a new law on 24 December 2019 which aims to make it easier for independent politicians to win a seat in the Council of Representatives. The new law will see each of Iraq's governorates split into several electoral districts, with one legislator being elected per 100,000 people, thus replacing its proportional representation
system for a district-based system
. The new law will also prevent parties from running on unified lists.
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Last edited on 18 May 2021, at 01:36
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