On Sunday, December 6, 2009, the Iraqi parliament finally passed an election law for the 2010 elections. The Presidency Council swiftly approved the measure, the result of sensitive negotiations among Iraq’s top legislators.

 The most controversial issues were the distribution of parliamentary seats among provinces, and the number and distribution of minority and compensatory seats, which are apportioned to parties too small to win election in any single province, but that win a large enough share of the national vote to earn a seat in parliament.
  • The 325-seat parliament will consist of 310 seats for the provinces, eight seats for minority groups, and seven compensatory seats.
  • Provincial seats will be distributed on the basis of the 2005 Ministry of Trade’s population numbers (based on food ration cards), with 2.8% population growth added for all provinces. 
  • Iraqis living abroad will vote for representatives of their home provinces, with no special status attributed to them.
  • Minority seats will be distributed as follows: five Christian seats will be contested within a single national district reserved for Christians. In addition, Yazidis will have one reserved seat in Nineveh, Saibis one in Baghdad, and Shabakis one in Nineveh. 
  • The seven remaining compensatory seats will be distributed among parties that fare well on the national level but do not gain any seats on the provincial level
Province 2005 Elections 2010 Elections
Baghdad 59 68
Nineveh 19 31
Basra 16 24
Dhi Qar 12 18
Babil 11 16
Sulaymaniya  15 17
Anbar  9 14
Irbil  13 14
Diyala  10 13
Kirkuk  9 12
Salahaddin  8 12
Najaf  8 12
Wasit  8 11
Qadisiyah  8 11
Maysan 7 10
Dohuk  7 10
Karbala  6 10
Muthanna  5 7
Compensatory Seats 45 15
Total 275 325