Country Governance

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POGAR > Countries > Iraq In Brief

Basic Information

Country Flag:
Country Map: United Nations Maps: Iraq
Country Name: Republic of Iraq (JumhuriyaT al Iraq)
Name of Capital City: Baghdad
Date of Independence: A kingdom, independent from the League of Nations mandate under British administration, was proclaimed on October 3, 1932.
A republic was declared on July 14, 1958.

Administrative Divisions

Regions, Provinces or Governorates: 18 governorates (muhafazat): Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala', Maysan, Ninawa, Salahad Din, Wasit, Arbil, As-Sulaymaniyah, and Dahuk.
Country Area (sq km): 438317
Population (million): 29.5 (2007)
Population, annual growth rate (%) 1975-2005:
Population, estimated growth rate (%) 2005-2015:

Political System

Type of State: Republic/Federal
Date of Constitution: A provisional constitution was promulgated on September 22, 1968 and went into effect on July 16, 1970.
A new interim constitution was adopted in 1990.
A permanent Constitution was approved by public referendum on October 15, 2005. The constitution came into effect with the elections of the Council of Representatives as stipulated by the constitution on December 15, 2005.

Head of State

Type: The Head of State in Iraq is the President of the Iraqi Republic, chosen by the elected National Assembly and he runs the three-person executive Presidency Council. The President's powers are limited, with most executive authority belonging to the Prime Minister of Iraq.
Name of Current: The National Assembly re-elected President Jalal Talibani on April 22, 2006 for a second term in office. He is the first Kurd to be elected as president of Iraq. Two vice presidents were also elected, they are Mr. Adel Abdel Mahdi (Shiite) and Mr. Tareq Al-Hashimi (Sunni). The three officials constitute the presidency council.

Executive Branch

About: The executive authority consists of the Presidency Council, the Council of Ministers, and its presiding Prime Minister.
Name of Current: The Presidential Council unanimously appointed Mr. Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki (Shiite) as prime minister on April 22, 2006.

Legislative Branch

Type: Bicameral legislative authority
- Council of Representatives [English][Arabic]


Suffrage: Suffrage is universal and the minimum voting age is 18.
- See Also: Iraq - Election Calendar and Results

Human Development Indicators

Human development index (HDI): N/A
HDI rank (worldwide): N/A
Adult literacy rate (% aged 15 and older): 74.1 (2007)
Female secondary gross enrollment (%): 36 (2005)
Gross enrollment, tertiary level education (%): 15.8 (2005)
Life expectancy at birth (years): 9.719 (2010)
Poverty index (HP1-1) value (%): 19.4 (2007)
GDP per capita (PPP US$): N/A
GDP per capita (PPP US$) rank minus HDI rank: N/A
* See more human development indicators on Arab Statistics (external link)

Judiciary Branch

Legal system and codification:
Administration: The Judiciary is independent and represented by courts of different kinds and levels, and they issue their rulings according to law. No authority can interfere in the judiciary or in the affairs of justice.
Supreme Court: The court hierarchy consists of Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, and Courts of Cassation, a Federal Court of Cassation, and a new Federal Supreme Court consisting of nine members to be appointed by the Presidency Council. One Supreme Court judge is to preside over the Higher Juridical Council.
Constitutional Court:
Shari'a or Personal Status: The Courts of Personal Status have jurisdiction in all matters of first instance related to personal status of Muslims. Jurors of the Shari’a Courts are either qadis, or religious judges, or judges from civil courts.

Membership in International Organizations

United Nations (UN): December 21, 1945
International Monetary Fund (IMF): December 27, 1945
World Trade Organization (WTO): Not a member
Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC): Not signed
World Bank – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): December 27, 1945
World Bank – International Finance Corporation (IFC): December 27, 1945
World Bank – Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA): Not a member
World Bank – International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID): Not a member

Ratification of International Conventions

- Human Rights Conventions
- International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions
- UN Conventions against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime
- Environment Treaties