Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks *

By Katzman, Kenneth | Current Politics and Economics of the Middle East, October 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks *


Katzman, Kenneth, Current Politics and Economics of the Middle East


OVERVIEW OF THE POLITICAL TRANSITION/ FIRST ELECTIONS

Iraq has completed a formal political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions. That transition has been accomplished through a series of elections that began in 2005, after a one-year occupation period and a subsequent seven-month interim period of Iraqi self-governance. However, disputes continue over the relative claim of each community on power and economic resources. These disputes permeate almost every issue in Iraq, including security, the terms and framework for elections, economic decision making, and foreign policy.

Initial Transition

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003, the United States set up an occupation structure, reportedly based on concerns that immediate sovereignty would favor major factions and not produce democracy. In May 2003, President Bush, reportedly seeking strong leadership in Iraq, named Ambassador L. Paul Bremer to head a "Coalition Provisional Authority" (CPA), which was recognized by the United Nations as an occupation authority. Bremer discontinued a tentative political transition process and instead appointed (July 13, 2003) a non-sovereign Iraqi advisory body, the 25-member "Iraq Governing Council" (IGC). During that year, U.S. and Iraqi negotiators, advised by a wide range of international officials and experts, drafted a "Transitional Administrative Law" (TAL, interim constitution), which was promulgated on March 4, 2004. After about one year of occupation, the United States, following a major debate between the CPA and various Iraqi factions over the modalities and rapidity of a resumption of Iraqi sovereignty, handed sovereignty to an appointed Iraqi interim government on June 28, 2004. That date was two days ahead of the TAL-specified date of June 30, 2004, for the handing over of Iraqi sovereignty and the end of the occupation period, which also laid out the elections roadmap discussed below. The interim government was headed by a prime minister, Iyad al-Allawi, leader of the Iraq National Accord, a secular, non-sectarian faction. Allawi is a Shiite but many INA leaders were Sunnis, and some of them were formerly members of the Baath Party. The president of this interim government was Ghazi al-Yawar, a Sunni tribal figure who spent many years in Saudi Arabia.

January 30, 2005, Elections for an Interim Government

A series of elections in 2005 produced the full-term government structure that is in place today. In accordance with the dates specified in the TAL, the first post-Saddam election was held on January 30, 2005. The voting was for a 275-seat transitional National Assembly (which formed an executive), four-year term provincial councils in all 18 provinces and a Kurdistan regional assembly (111 seats). The election for the transitional Assembly was conducted according to the "proportional representation/closed list" election system, in which voters chose among "political entities" (a party, a coalition of parties, or persons). A total of 111 entities were on the national ballot, of which nine were multi-party coalitions. Still restive over their displacement from power in the 2003 U.S. invasion, Sunni Arabs (20% of the overall population) boycotted, winning only 17 Assembly seats, and only one seat on the 51- seat Baghdad provincial council. That council was dominated (28 seats) by representatives of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), led by Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim. Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, then at odds with U.S. forces, also boycotted, leaving his faction poorly represented on provincial councils in the Shiite south and in Baghdad. The resulting transitional government placed Shiites and Kurds in the highest positions- Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani was president and Da'wa (Shiite party) leader Ibrahim al-Jafari was prime minister. Sunnis were Assembly speaker, deputy president, a deputy prime minister, and six ministers, including defense. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.