Fast Facts: Background on Iraqi Elections

The Iraqi elections (search) are expected to take place on Jan. 30, 2005, incorporating an estimated 14 million eligible voters across the country and 1.5 million Iraqi citizens eligible to vote from outside Iraq in places like Jordan, Canada, Denmark, Iran, Germany and France.

Click here for more background on the elections.

The deadline for candidate registration passed on December 15.

The election will determine a new, 275-seat transitional National Assembly, which will write the constitution. A year from the election, the people will vote to adopt the proposed constitution and elect a permanent government.

Aside from the National Assembly, the Iraqi Kurdistan National Assembly in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region will be elected, as well as 18 provincial councils, one in each Iraqi province.

As of Dec.15, about 5,000 candidates have registered on approximately 83 lists representing varying political parties, alliances and independent groups for the National Assembly. Voters will select their favorite list on election day. The percentage of votes each list receives will determine how many of their candidates will sit on the interim governing body.

Approximate votes required to win a National Assembly seat, assuming full voter turnout: 50,000

Sources: The Council of Foreign Governments, compiling information from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, U.S. State Department and news reports.