|February 10, 2006|
WASHINGTON, DC - In response to today's certification of Iraq's election results, Reps. Kay Granger, Geoff Davis, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Joe Wilson, Jeb Bradley, Mike McCaul, Bill Shuster, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Jeff Miller, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, John Kline, Tom Tancredo and Ted Poe, members of the Congressional War on Terror Team, issued the following joint statement:
"Today's certification of Iraq's election results marks yet another successful milestone in Iraq's transition to democracy. America salutes Iraqis for their continued courage to fight for a free and democratic Iraq. Members of Congress are looking forward to working with our new partners in the Iraqi Parliament as we fight together to win the Global War on Terror."
Dec. 15 Iraqi election results certified, key step in forming government
10 February 2006
Associated Press Newswires (APHO)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's election chief announced the final certified results for the country's Dec. 15 parliamentary polls on Friday, starting the clock on the long-awaited formation of a new government.
The announcement gave legal confirmation to initial results released last month for those who won the 275 seats in Iraq's first post-Saddam Hussein parliament with a four-year mandate. With Friday's certification parliament must convene within two weeks.
Adil al-Lami, head of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, said 128 seats were won by the dominant Shiite coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance.
Two Sunni Arab blocs, the Iraqi Accordance Front and the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, received 44 and 11 seats respectively. Their combined 55 seats sees Sunni Arabs increase their representation by more than threefold on the outgoing parliament.
The Kurdish Coalition of parties led by President Jalal Talabani and Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani were the other big winners, claiming 53 seats.
Intense negotiations are ongoing to form a national unity government comprising Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds in a bid to end Iraq's rampant violence.
Under Iraq's new constitution, Talabani now must convene the new assembly within two weeks. Under the law, parliament then has 30 days to elect a new national president.
The new president has 15 days to name a new prime minister from the ranks of the Shiite religious parties. The prime minister-designate then has 30 days to present his Cabinet to parliament for approval by majority vote.
If the Iraqis take the maximum time allowed for each step, it would be May before a government is in place. Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite widely mentioned as possible prime minister, has said he expected to finish the talks by mid-March.