What Iraq's election was about:

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WHAT WAS AT STAKE: Voters elected a 275-member National Assembly and 18 provincial legislatures. People in the Kurdish-ruled region of northern Iraq also chose a new parliament.

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ASSEMBLY'S ROLE: The National Assembly will elect a largely ceremonial president and two deputy presidents. Those officials will name a prime minister and Cabinet, subject to the assembly's approval. The assembly also is to draft a permanent constitution and serve as a lawmaking body.

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HOW LONG: The new government will remain in office for 11 months. If the draft constitution is approved by voters in a referendum, new national elections will take place in December.