Extract from Commons debate on 29th November
Mr. Harry Barnes (North-East Derbyshire) (Lab): How widely known is the holding of the general election in Iraq among the Iraqi people? A short time ago, it seemed that it was not well known; perhaps people had other things to be bothered and worried about. There might be some indication in terms of the number of people who have registered to vote or are expected to register and in the number of local elections that have already been held to prepare people for a coming general election.
Mr. Straw: My understanding is that there is already a good level of appreciation of the elections and the process. The system of registration is based on the records for food rations. As people go to claim their food rations, they are registered to vote. The usual process of the publication of provisional registers is under way and the independent election commission of Iraq is seeking nominations. Alongside that, there are plans for a proper information campaign to be run by the independent election commission to educate people in Iraq better about the process of elections, which of course they have not enjoyed for getting on for 40 years.