After Iraqi voters cast their choices for new government officials, the following takes place:

— The votes will be tabulated and the winners declared.

— The Transitional National Assembly is expected to be seated in mid-February.

— The Assembly will appoint a Presidency Council, consisting of a president and two deputy presidents.

— The Presidency Council will appoint a prime minister and, on his or her recommendation, cabinet ministers to run the Iraqi government’s various ministries.

— The prime minister and his cabinet must receive a vote of confidence by a simple majority of the Transitional National Assembly before commencing work as a government.

— The Transitional National Assembly will draft a new Iraqi constitution.

— The draft constitution is to be presented for approval to the Iraqi people in a national referendum in October 2005.

— By the end of 2005, the Iraqi people are expected to elect a new national government under a new, permanent constitution.

— To elect the 275 members of the National Assembly in Iraq, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) will use the system of representation that is defined in the Electoral Law as proportional representation in a single, national constituency.

— The composition of the National Assembly will result from allocating a number of seats in the Assembly to the political entities according to the number of votes cast for them. Thus, for example, any political entity that wins 20 percent of the vote will gain approximately 20 percent of the seats.

— Having a single constituency means that candidates elected for the National Assembly will represent the whole Iraqi population. Consequently, votes cast throughout the country will be allocated to the list of candidates chosen by the voter and where someone actually votes is of no consequence.

(Sources: About The National Assembly Election, Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq; State Department Recaps Details of Iraqi Election: Iraqis prepare for Jan. 30 legislative elections, Jan. 10, 2005)