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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Iraq constitution: it's now kinda, sorta official

Posted by: Hammer / 2:35 PM

The votes have been tallied and Iraq has a new constitution. Two provinces rejected the Constitution but a third, Ninevah, only mustered a 55% no vote. A 2/3 no vote was necessary to reject the constitution.

The constitution is now open for amendment:

An 11th hour deal brokered by the US ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, before the referendum vote on October 15 saw Shia Muslim and Kurdish parties agree that changes could be made by the four-year parliament to be elected on December 15.

The big question is what the Shias will do now. More from the Guardian:

Speaking two days after the vote, the US secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, said the engagement of Sunni Arabs in the political process was the principal achievement. "One way or another, the Iraqis will be in a position to move forward," she said.

However, critics say failure to kill the charter could produce a violent backlash by making Sunnis feel more marginalised.

Will the Shia flock to the ballot box in December to gain a greater voice in the parliament? Or will they fall back to bullets and bombs? If this British poll is correct, we're dangerously close to a time when Iraqis are wholly unified against the U.S. presence, though still bitterly divided internally. According to the British military, 45% of Iraqis believe attacks against U.S. and British forces are justified and 82% are strongly opposed to the U.S. and British troop presence.

It looks more and more to me like the Shia are ready to take matters into their own hands and give the Sunni the civil war they've been agitating for.


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