Opinions on the Electoral Process and Democracy in Iraq

Publication Date: 
15 May 2015

Following the April 2014 Council of Representatives elections, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) conducted a public opinion survey of voting-age citizens in Iraq, which found that Iraqis were largely satisfied with the process and procedures of the April 2014 elections, with over 84 percent indicating they were very or somewhat satisfied. Iraqis were also largely confident in the ability of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to organize credible elections, with 79 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence and 71 percent saying they agree the IHEC is an independent institution without political influence affecting its operations and decisions.

The report also found Iraqis to be generally optimistic about the benefits of the electronic voting card – an innovation during the election cycle – with a large majority (86%) believing it would improve the electoral process. In addition, the survey looked at perceptions of women’s participation in politics and found that over half of Iraqis approve of women’s participation in eight different political roles. Large majorities support women working in election administration, women running as candidates in elections and women serving in Parliament.

The main objectives of the survey were to:

  • Examine opinions of the April 2014 Council of Representatives elections;
  • Assess the adequacy of pre-election voter information and exposure to the voter registration information campaign;
  • Measure knowledge and attitudes toward the new electronic voting cards used in the 2014 elections;
  • Examine voter registration patterns and understanding of voter registration procedures;
  • Elicit views of the IHEC and trust in electoral processes;
  • Track opinions on democracy and political efficacy; and
  • Explore views toward women's participation in politics.