Electoral Assistance

UN Electoral Support

Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2110, the United Nations is mandated to provide advice, and assistance to the Government of Iraq and the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) on the development of processes for holding elections and referenda.

The UNAMI Office of Electoral Assistance, established in 2004, coordinates all electoral support delivered by UNAMI, UNDP and UNOPS in one Integrated Electoral Assistance Team (IEAT).

IEAT provides strategic and technical advice to those Iraqi institutions involved in electoral events, primarily the IHEC, the Council of Representatives, the Government, the media and civil society to facilitate sustainable and credible electoral processes.


The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC)

The IHEC was established in 2007, replacing the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI), which in turn had been established in 2004. The IHEC National Office is in Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Electoral Office (KREO) is in Erbil and there are 19 Governorate Electoral Offices in each province (there are two GEOs in Baghdad). Click here to see the map of the GEOs.

Click here to see the IHEC website.

The Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR) is responsible for the vetting, nomination and confirmation of the IHEC Board of Commissioners, a nine-member body made up of eight commissioners and a Chief Electoral Officer, which serves for five years and which is chaired by one of the members selected by the BOC. The CEO is a non-voting member of the BOC and is responsible implementing the policies of the Board. As well as a Chair, the BOC also elects a Rapporteur, a Spokesperson and a Deputy Chair.

The current BOC was selected in September 2012. Click here for more details about the members of the BOC.

The COR has oversight responsibility for the IHEC BOC, which is governed by the Iraqi Constitution and the IHEC Law 11 (2007). The staff members of the IHEC work in accordance with the civil service code.


Elections in Iraq post-2003

The first credible elections in Iraq were held to select a national parliament in January 2005 as part of the constitutional drafting process. These were followed by parliamentary elections in December 2005, governorate council elections in January 2009, national parliamentary elections in March 2010, governorate council elections in April 2013 (with elections in Nineveh and Anbar governorates in June 2013). National parliamentary elections are scheduled for the first half of 2014.


Elections in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (the three governorates of Dohuk, Erbil and Suleymanieh) have followed a different electoral calendar. Governorate and parliamentary elections were held in KRI in January 2005 to coincide with the national parliamentary elections. Four years later, in July 2009, parliamentary and presidential elections were held. Parliamentary and governorate elections are being held in September and November respectively in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, although presidential elections have been postponed.

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