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Iraq Facts:

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Nations Capital: Baghdad

Government Type: Republic

Independence: Oct. 3, 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

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

Constitution: Sept. 22, 1968, effective July 16, 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; Vice President; head of government: Prime Minister; Deputy Prime Minister; Deputy Prime Minister; Deputy Prime Minister

Cabinet: Council of Ministers (note: there is also a Revolutionary Command Council)

Elections: President and vice presidents elected by a two-thirds majority of the Revolutionary Command Council

Legislative branch: Unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Watani (250 seats; 30 appointed by SADDAM Husayn 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 March 24, 1996 (next to be held NA 2000)

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation

Population Total estimate: 1997: 22,219,289

Ethnic Groups: Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian or other 5%

Religion: Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

Language Spoken: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian

Literacy Rate: age 15 and over can read and write

Military Branches: Army, Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Border Guard Force, Internal Security Forces

Military Notes: Iran and Iraq restored diplomatic relations in 1990 but are still trying to work out written agreements settling outstanding disputes from their eight-year war concerning border demarcation, prisoners-of-war, and freedom of navigation and sovereignty over the Shatt al Arab waterway; in November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait which had been spelled out in Security Council Resolutions 687 (1991), 773 (1993), and 883 (1993); this formally ends earlier claims to Kuwait and to Bubiyan and Warbah islands; dispute over water development plans by Turkey for the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

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