Iraqi Council of Representatives Elections
(Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Kono)
1. The Government of Japan welcomes the fact that the fourth elections for the Iraqi Council of Representatives were held in a generally peaceful manner on May 12 (local time). The Government of Japan, represented by Japanese Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Fumio Iwai, engaged in election monitoring activities.
2. The Government of Japan hopes that the process towards the confirmation of the election results will proceed in a fair, prompt and peaceful manner, and that a new administration will be inaugurated promptly. Additionally, the Government of Japan strongly hopes that this election will pave the way for further advancement of national reconciliation and achievement of stability and reconstruction in Iraq.
(Reference 1) Iraqi parliamentary election
(1) The Iraqi Council of Representatives is composed of 329 seats (with a term of office four years). This is the fourth parliamentary elections to be implemented after the Iraqi war, following elections held in December 2005, March 2010, and April 2014. Voting took place in all 18 governorates of Iraq, with approximately 7,000 candidates contesting the seats (the party-list proportional representation system is used in each governorate).
(2) In response to a request received from the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) of Iraq, Japan engaged in election monitoring activities at a number of voting stations in Baghdad and Erbil, headed by Japanese Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Fumio Iwai. Other countries also engaged in election monitoring activities, including the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union (EU).
(Reference 2) Process towards the inauguration of the new administration
(1) After voting stations have closed, the vote counting begins immediately. The provisional result will be announced first by the IHEC, and the result will be confirmed with the ratification of the Federal Supreme Court of Iraq. For this election, an electronic counting system has been introduced. The IHEC has stated that results will be announced within two days after the day of the election. In the previous elections (2014) when the vote counting was conducted manually, it took approximately one month and a half since the election until the result was confirmed, and approximately four months until the new administration was inaugurated.
(2) Under the Iraqi Constitution, the Council of Representatives will convene within 15 days from the ratification date of the election result, and in its first session, the Speaker and Deputy Speakers will be elected (*an absolute majority of the total number of Council members is required). Next, a new President will be elected within 30 days from the date of Council’s first convening (*a two-thirds majority of the total number of Council members is required). Then, the newly elected President shall charge the nominee of the largest Council bloc with the formation of the Council of Ministers within 15 days from the President election date. The Prime Minister-designate shall then undertake the naming of his Council of Ministers within a period of 30 days. The new administration will be inaugurated with the approval of the Council of Representatives (*an absolute majority of the total number of Council members is required). If Ministers are not approved by the Council of Representatives or a Council of Ministers fails to be formed, the process will be repeated, starting from nomination of a Prime Minister-designate by the President.