Iraqi Parliamentary Elections Use Proportional Voting System

Posted on December 11, 2005

On December 15, Iraq held its second ever proportional voting election, designed to improve upon last January's constitutional convention elections. This time, Iraq's 18 provinces (or governorates) elected members of parliament in multi-member superdistricts using a proportional voting method. Under the new system, 230 of 275 seats are allocated to each province based on the province's population, and parties are awarded these provincial seats in direct proportion to their vote in each province. The 45 remaining seats are awarded to smaller parties that did not win seats in any given province but nevertheless won a significant numbers of votes nationally. The reforms are partly intended to better include Sunni Muslims who, due to a boycott under the old system, won few seats in January despite their proportion of Iraq's population. Early indications suggest turnout was about 70 percent with exceptionally high participation among Sunnis.

[ Full article on the FairVote Blog ]
[ FairVote's analysis of the January vote and successive reforms ]
[ IECI document on Iraq's electoral system - Adobe .pdf 77k ]
[ Explanation of apportionment and seat allocation - Adobe .pdf 278k ]

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