Monday, October 17, 2005

IOL (South Africa): World leaders praise Iraq for referendum move. The referendum on the Iraqi constitution was hailed internationally on Sunday as a key step towards democracy and stability, and what Washington called a "bad day" for terrorists. With the results not yet known, both Western countries and the Arab Gulf states congratulated the Iraqis on holding the vote, hoping the process would bring back security to the troubled country. [...]

Washington Post: For the Bush administration, the apparent approval of Iraq's constitution is less of a victory than yet another chance to possibly fashion a political solution that does not result in the bloody division of Iraq. Publicly, administration officials hailed the result but privately some officials acknowledged that the road ahead is still very difficult, especially because Sunni Arab voters appeared to have rejected the constitution by wide margins. As one official put it, every time the administration appears on the edge of a precipice, it manages to cobble together a result that allows it to move on to the next precipice. [...]

The Courier-Mail (Australia): Iraq reaffirms December poll date. Iraq was to hold parliamentary elections on December 15, regardless of whether yesterday's referendum on a new constitution was successful or not. The election date has been confirmed today by the office of the president. Iraq's interim constitution, drawn up last year, stated that parliamentary elections would have to be held by December 15, 2005. Results of the referendum on adopting a new constitution are not yet known, but early returns suggest it was approved. "December 15 is the day," Kamaran Padaghi, a spokesman for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, said. [...]

CTV (Canada): Iraq notebook: Referendum Day