Order 97:: Political Parties and Entities Law
COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY ORDER NUMBER 97
POLITICAL PARTIES AND ENTITIES 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
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;
Underscoring the need for international cooperation to achieve these goals and the
essential role to be played by the United Nations and other internationally
recognized experts in electoral administration;
Committed to establishing an impartial and internationally recognized body of
Iraqi professionals and expert advisors to coordinate and oversee genuine and
credible elections in Iraq;
Having consulted extensively with the 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 that fairly reflects Iraq’s rich diversity of political thought by
encouraging and impartially regulating the development of vibrant political
entities across Iraq.
CPA/ORD/7 June 2004/97
Recognition of Political Entities
1) A “political entity” means an organization, including a political party, of
eligible voters who voluntarily associate on the basis of common ideas,
interests or views, for the purpose of articulating interests, obtaining
influence and having their representatives elected to public office, so long
as that organization of eligible voters is officially certified as a political
entity by the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (“Commission”).
A “political entity” also means an individual person who intends to stand
for election to public office, so long as the individual person is officially
certified as a political entity by the Commission.
2) The Commission shall establish regulations that govern the certification
and decertification of political entities. Such regulations shall include the
total number of eligible voters – as measured by signatures, personal marks,
or other identifiable means – required for certification as a political entity,
provided that the total number of eligible voters required for certification of
organizations or individual persons shall not exceed 500.
Status and Treatment of Political Entities
1) Each political entity, except certified individuals, shall become, upon
certification, a distinct legal entity in Iraq, unless it already had such status.
2) As distinct legal entities, political entities shall be capable of owning,
leasing or having legal tenure of property, entering into contracts, and
conducting transactions. Political entities shall enjoy any additional legal
entitlement or protection provided by the Commission through regulations,
rules, procedures, and decisions.
3) All political entities, including certified individual persons, are equal
before the law, and shall be treated equally at all times by all levels of
government in Iraq.
No organization or group of individuals may offer candidates for elections
in Iraq unless certified as a political entity by the Commission. No
individual person may stand for election in Iraq unless certified as a
political entity by the Commission.
CPA/ORD/7 June 2004/97
Recognition of Common Principles
1) Political entities will be bound by regulations, rules, procedures, and
decisions promulgated by the Commission.
2) The Commission will duly establish actions and omissions that are electoral
offenses and subject to sanction. Sanction for electoral offenses may
include, without limitation, injunction, financial penalty, public notice,
certification suspension and decertification. Such offenses and sanctions
shall be in addition to criminal offenses set forth in Iraqi law.
3) The following principles shall apply to all political entities in Iraq and shall
be incorporated into and implemented by the Commission’s regulations
governing political entities:
a) No political entity may have or be associated with an armed force,
militia or residual element as defined in CPA Order No. 91, Regulation
of Armed Forces and Militias within Iraq (CPA/ORD/June 2004/91);
b) No political entity may be directly or indirectly financed by any armed
force, militia, or residual element;
c) No political entity may put forth any candidate who fails to meet the
applicable legal criteria;
d) Political entities must abide by all laws and regulations in Iraq,
including public meeting ordinances, prohibitions on incitement to
violence, hate speech, intimidation, and support for, the practice of and
the use of terrorism;
e) Political entities must operate pursuant to the code of conduct that will
be promulgated by the Commission – such code must include, among
other things, the requirements in Section 4(3)(d) of this Order;
Political entities other than individuals certified as political entities must
promulgate a statute to govern their organization and operation,
including the method or process for selecting leaders and candidates,
and this statute must be available to any member of the public upon
CPA/ORD/7 June 2004/97