The Commission on Thursday said 6000 candidates had registered to contest the elections on 30 January 2005 for the new National Assembly. 

 

More than 100 parties, blocs and independents make up the 6000 candidates.

 

Updating previous figures, the Electoral Commission said 73 single-party lists were registered for the ballot, plus nine multiparty coalitions and 25 individuals running for a seat on their own.

   

The deadline for registration passed on Wednesday but full details of the candidates will not be published for some days, to allow for final amendments, a Commission spokesman said.

 

Constitution   

 

The 275-member National Assembly will oversee the drafting of a constitution over the next year and appoint a government.

   

The deadline for registration
passed on Wednesday

Iraq will be treated as a single electoral district. Voters will choose a list and seats will be distributed to candidates on those lists according to the percentage of votes secured.

 

An election for the autonomous Kurdish parliament in the north will take place on the same day as the nationwide poll, as will elections to local assemblies for each Iraqi province.

   

The Electoral Commission said 14 parties had registered lists for the Kurdish ballot, in addition to one coalition.

   

The two main Kurdish parties, the KDP and PUK, which already dominate politics in the north, are expected to run on a joint list in the nationwide election.

 

Decision to withdraw

 

Speaking to Aljazeera, Raad Mawlud Mukhlis, Secretary-General of the Iraq League said, "We are for election and democracy".

 

"We call for an unconditional and genuine national reconciliation as agreed upon at the Sharm al-Shaikh conference before elections are carried out"

Raad Mawlud Mukhlis,
secretary-general, Iraq League

But, "since many Iraqis were marginalised and could not participate in the election due to absence of security, our party and the al-Uma (nation) party decided to withdraw from the polls," Mukhlis said.

 

"We call for an unconditional and genuine national reconciliation as agreed upon at the Sharm al-Shaikh conference before elections are carried out," he said.

 

When asked whether the party's withdrawal was because it does not have a popular base, he said, "That is not true, as we have had roots historically since the founding of modern Iraq".

 

"We have our own base and we represent the silent majority," Mukhlis said.

 

Election will not be fair or just in some Iraqi cities like Mosul, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, Anbar and Diyala in the absence of reconciliation, he added.