Saturday, January 29, 2005|
Last UN ballots delivered to Iraq polls before vote for constitutional assembly
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:08 PM ET
[JURIST] US Central Command reported late Saturday that the last UN-made ballots, printed by a special process in Switzerland to reduce the threat of fraud, have been delivered to polling stations in Baghdad as Iraq prepares to conduct its first free elections since 1944. Read the Central Command press release. When more than 5000 polling stations open at 7 AM Sunday local time (11 PM Saturday ET) Iraqis will be able to vote for local councils and for a National Assembly that is supposed to draft a permanent constitution - replacing the current Transitional Administrative Law [text] - by August 15, 2005. Under this timetable [US State Department factsheet], which can be extended by six months, the draft must be presented the draft is approved, new elections for a permanent Iraqi government have to be held no later than December 15, 2005 and a new government has to assume office no later than December 31, 2005; if the constitution is rejected, the National Assembly will be dissolved and new elections for a new National Assembly will have to be held no later than 15 December 2005. While the permanent constitution is being drafted the National Assembly will also pick a tri-partite Presidency Council (a president and two vice-presidents), which will select a new interim prime minister and government.
Stay with JURIST for continuous online coverage of the Iraqi elections featuring:
- the latest wire stories out of Iraq
- live TV from Iraq via KurdSat; live BBC World Service audio
- JURIST's full Iraqi elections news archive
- video briefings by Iraqi and UN officials on election preparation
- links to the Iraqi electoral commission, Iraq political parties, party TV ads, out-of-country voting information and special US goverment websites on the vote
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