The following information about the timetable and rules for the Iraqi elections of 2005 is taken from the website of the Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party.
June 2004 Start of Registration Of Political Parties & Entities
July 2004 Selection Of National Council by the National Conference
September 2004 Voter registration begins
December 31, 2004 National Elections
Spring 2005 Constitutional Convention
October 15, 2005 Referendum on ratification of proposed constitution
December 15, 2005 Elections to select constitutionally based government
2004 June – Start of Registration of Political Parties & Entities
CPA Order 97 governs the certification and decertification of political parties and entities and is consistent with U.N. Resolution 1483 (2003), and Resolution 1511 (2003). Article 31 of the Law Of Administration of the State Of Iraq (TAL) specifies the requirements for individual candidates. The basic requirements for a party and candidate are as follows:
A party must register at least 500 eligible voters as members of the party
A party must field a minimum of 12 candidates and no more than 275
A candidate must be at least 30 years of age
The party must rank all candidates on the list in the order they will be allocated a seat in the National Assembly
At least every third candidate on the ranked list must be a woman
A candidate shall have at least a secondary school diploma, or equivalent
A candidate shall not be a member of the armed forces at the time of his nomination
A candidate shall not have been a member of the dissolved Ba’ath Party with the rank of Division Member or higher
If a candidate was once a member of the dissolved Ba’ath Party with the rank of Full Member, he shall be required to sign a document renouncing the Ba’ath Party and disavowing all of his past links with it before becoming eligible to be a candidate, and shall be required to swear that he no longer has any dealings or connections with Ba’ath Party organizations
There are special rules for someone to declare himself or herself a certified individual person. Persons who have been so certified by the Independent Electoral Commission can run for office as individuals and do not need to be on a political party’s candidate list.
2004 July – Selection of National Council by the National Conference
A group of prominent Iraqis selected by the interim government, to be known as the National Conference, shall begin meeting in July of 2004. The primary duty of the National Conference will be to appoint a National Council that will serve until national elections are held, which is to be no later than January 31st of 2005. The National Council will have the following powers:
Approve a budget
Right to compel government ministries to answer questions on policy
2004 September – Voter registration begins
To register to vote a person must meet the following qualifications:
Be deemed an Iraq Citizen, or entitled to reclaim Iraqi citizenship, or be eligible for Iraqi citizenship
Born before December 31st, 1986
Eligibility for voting is detailed in CPA Order 96 and is consistent with U.N. Resolution 1483 (2003), and Resolution 1511 (2003).
In addition, Article 11 of the TAL states any Iraqi whose Iraqi citizenship was withdrawn for political, religious, racial, or sectarian reasons has the right to reclaim his Iraqi citizenship. Persons whose citizenship was withdrawn under decision Number 666 (1980) of the dissolved Revolutionary Command Council shall be deemed an Iraqi citizen.
2004 December – National Elections for the National Assembly
National elections are to be held by December 31st, 2004 if possible and absolutely no later than January 31st, 2005. Elections can be called earlier by the Prime Minister with the consent of the National Council and cabinet. ( Note: This is a real possibility as Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has stated he would like to move the elections up to coincide with the United States’ national elections to be held November 2nd, 2004.)
The elections for the National Assembly will be:
By a direct and universal vote that will use a secret ballot
Choosing 275 members
A single electoral constituency across the whole of Iraq
Seats in the National Assembly will be allocated among Political Entities through a system of proportional representation. Basically, for every 1/275 (0.36%) of the popular vote a party receives one candidate from the ranked candidate list will be awarded a seat in the National Assembly (see CPA Order 96 Section 3.4 for exact formulas and other details).
2005 Spring – Constitutional Convention
The primary duties of the National Assembly will be to serve as Iraq’s legislative branch and to complete a draft the new Constitution no later than August 15th, 2005.
2005 October 15 – Referendum on ratification of proposed constitution
Iraqi citizens who have registered to vote will decide whether to ratify the new Constitution.
In the event the Constitution is not approved, the National Assembly will be dissolved and Elections for a new National Assembly shall be held no later than December 15th 2005. The new National Assembly and new Iraqi Transitional Government shall then assume office no later than December 31st, 2005 and shall continue to operate under the TAL until such time as a Constitution is approved.
2005 December 15 – Elections to select constitutionally based government
If the permanent constitution is approved in the referendum, elections for a permanent government shall be held no later than December 15th, 2005 and the new government shall assume office no later than December 31st, 2005.