Order 96: The Electoral Law
COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY ORDER NUMBER 96
THE ELECTORAL LAW
Pursuant to my authority as Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA),
and under the laws and usages of war, and consistent with relevant U.N. Security Council
resolutions, including Resolution 1483 (2003), and Resolution 1511 (2003);
Reaffirming the right of the Iraqi people, as recognized in Resolutions 1483 and 1511, to
freely determine their own political future;
Noting that the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period
(the “TAL”) provides for the Iraqi people to choose their government through genuine
and credible elections to be held by the end of December 2004 if possible and, in any
event, no later than 31 January 2005;
Determined to achieve the transitional goals of the TAL, including the drafting and
ratification of a permanent constitution, and the establishment of an elected government
under that constitution;
Committed to electing the drafters of the Iraqi constitution by a direct, universal and
secret ballot of the Iraqi people;
Noting the Iraqi Governing Council’s adoption of Resolution 87 of 2004 endorsing use of
a single electoral district and proportional representation in the election of the National
Assembly of the Iraqi Transitional Government;
Having consulted extensively with representatives of the United Nations and benefited
from their consultations with the Governing Council and a broad cross-section of Iraqis,
I hereby promulgate the following:
This Order forms part of the legal framework for genuine and credible elections to
determine the membership of the National Assembly of the Iraqi Transitional
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For purposes of this Order, the following definitions shall apply. Words importing
the singular include and apply to several persons, parties, or things; words importing
the plural include the singular; and words importing the masculine gender include the
1) “Commission” means the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, as
established by CPA Order No. 92 (CPA/ORD/31 May 2004/92).
2) “Iraqi Interim Government” means the government that will assume full
governmental authority on 30 June 2004 and retain such authority until the
formation of the Iraqi Transitional Government.
3) “Iraqi Transitional Government” means the government that is to be established
after nationwide elections occurring no later than 31 January 2005.
4) “National Assembly” means the National Assembly of the Iraqi Transitional
Government, as described in the TAL.
5) “Political Parties and Entities Law” means the law that will govern the recognition
of Political Entities in Iraq during the Transitional Period.
6) “Political Entity” means a political entity as defined in the Political Parties and
7) “Threshold” means the minimum number of valid votes necessary to obtain a seat
in the National Assembly.
System of Representation
1) The election for the National Assembly shall be by direct, universal and secret
2) Consistent with Article 31 of the TAL, elections for the National Assembly will
choose 275 members. Consistent with Article 31(A) of the TAL, a separate law
enacted after such elections will govern the replacement of members of the
National Assembly in the event of resignation, removal or death.
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3) Iraq will be a single electoral constituency. All seats in the National Assembly
will be allocated among Political Entities through a system of proportional
4) The formula for the allocation of seats in the National Assembly will be based on
a first calculation employing a simple quota (Hare quota) and subsequent
calculations employing the largest remainders. The Threshold shall be the natural
threshold, which is calculated by dividing the total number of valid votes by 275.
The procedure for use of this formula shall be set forth in such regulations
promulgated pursuant to Section 6.
1) Any Political Entity may present a list of candidates for election to the National
Assembly to the Commission so long as the candidates on the list meet the
applicable legal criteria.
2) The lists presented to the Commission must have the candidates in a ranked order.
Seats in the National Assembly shall be allocated to candidates according to the
ranked order on the list. The candidates on the lists may not be reordered or
otherwise changed after a date to be established by the Commission.
3) No fewer than one out of the first three candidates on the list must be woman; no
fewer than two out of the first six candidates on the list must be woman; and so
forth until the end of the list.
4) No list shall contain fewer than twelve or more than 275 candidates, except that
individual persons certified as Political Entities by the Commission may present
themselves on a list as a single candidate. The requirement of Section 4(3) does
not apply where a list contains an individual person certified as a Political Entity.
5) Seats shall be allocated to candidates, not Political Entities. At no time may a
Political Entity withdraw a seat in the National Assembly from the candidate to
whom it was allocated.
Entitlement to Vote
1) To be eligible to vote in the election of the National Assembly, a person must:
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