If there is one country where seeing the political conditions and elections held is fascinating, many people would say it is Iraq these days. The country has gone through a lot of big changes in the last decade alone and this has shaped a lot of what goes on here in the political sense. As most people know, the Iraq War definitely has played a large role in the way things are in the nation today and this is a turning point we will learn about. Let’s get started seeing a little bit about the history of the country’s political organization and how it is ruled today, as well.
The Iraq Elections Before 2005
To some degree, there has always been an element of voting in Iraq. Back in 1925, the country was a constitutional monarchy which means that they had a king who ruled in accordance with a constitution. At this time, they had both a Senate and a House of Representatives. Women did not vote in these Iraq elections and these elections only lasted until 1958 when military governments rose to power. This caused a lot of problems and is one of the reasons that Iraq and the Persian Gulf itself were both seen as being highly unstable for many decades. When the B’ath Party arose in the 60′s, it was bad news for the ethnic group known as the Kurds and also for the Shiite Muslims who form the majority of the country today. In 1979 Saddam Hussein would seize power, a member of the B’ath party, and the last elections he held were in 2002 when over 11 million eligible voters were said to have voted for him, a full 100 percent of the voting population. As you might imagine, those Iraq elections were not taken seriously by other democracies around the world. It would be some time before the nation’s elections would be deemed credible again.
How the Iraq Elections Changed After the Invasion of Iraq
In 2003, there was a multinational invasion of Iraq that was lead by the United States. While there are many political reasons for this, what is important for us in the investigation of Iraq elections is how the political process was shaped. Most of the nations who took part in this invasion and the subsequent restructuring of the nation were Western style democracies of some form or another. They installed an interim government once they toppled Hussein’s regime and in 2005 the first elections were held. These were the first free elections in the history of the nation and most international observers feel that they were handled in a relatively effective and open manner, making sure everyone got to vote. It was reported that over 7,000 candidates ran at this time for fewer than 300 seats so clearly there were far more losers than winners during this election. It would be 5 more years before elections would be held again that would make such an impact on the international media.