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Country name  conventional long form:Republic of Iraq
conventional short form:Iraq
local long form:Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah
local short form:Al Iraq

Data code  IZ

Government type  republic

Capital  Baghdad

Administrative divisions  18 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala', Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, Wasit

Independence  3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday  Anniversary of the Revolution, 17 July (1968)

Constitution  22 September 1968, effective 16 July 1970 (provisional constitution); new constitution drafted in 1990 but not adopted

Legal system  based on Islamic law in special religious courts, civil law system elsewhere; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch  chief of state:President SADDAM Husayn (since 16 July 1979); Vice President Taha Muhyi al-Din MARUF (since 21 April 1974); Vice President Taha Yasin RAMADAN (since 23 March 1991)
head of government:Prime Minister SADDAM Husayn (since 29 May 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Mikhail AZIZ (since NA 1979); Deputy Prime Minister Taha Yasin RAMADAN (since NA May 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad Hamza al-ZUBAYDI (since NA May 1994)
cabinet:Council of Ministers
note:there is also a Revolutionary Command Council or RCC (Chairman SADDAM Husayn, Vice Chairman Izzat IBRAHIM al-Duri) which controls the ruling Ba'th Party, and is the most powerful political entity in the country
elections:president and vice presidents elected by a two-thirds majority of the Revolutionary Command Council; election last held 17 October 1995 (next to be held NA 2002)
election results:SADDAM Husayn reelected president; percent of vote - 99%; Taha Muhyi al-Din MARUF and Taha Yasin RAMADAN elected vice presidents; percent of vote - NA

Legislative branch  unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Watani (250 seats; 30 appointed by the president to represent the three northern provinces of Dahuk, Arbil, and As Sulaymaniyah; 220 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections:last held 24 March 1996 (next to be held NA March 2000)
election results:percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch  Court of Cassation

Political parties and leaders  Ba'th Party [SADDAM Husayn, central party leader]

Political pressure groups and leaders  any formal political activity must be sanctioned by the government; opposition to regime from Kurdish groups and southern Shi'a dissidents

International organization participation  ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Flag description  three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with three green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; the phrase ALLAHU AKBAR (God is Great) in green Arabic script - Allahu to the right of the middle star and Akbar to the left of the middle star - was added in January 1991 during the Persian Gulf crisis; similar to the flag of Syria which has two stars but no script and the flag of Yemen which has a plain white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt which has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band

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