Saturday, September 03, 2005

Charles Krauthammer: A sensible Iraqi constitution. I've never been a big fan of the Iraqi constitution project. Issues such as federalism and the role of Islam are simply too large and fundamental to be decided this early in Iraq's democratic evolution. It is more appropriately the work of years as Iraqis learn accommodation and tolerance and the other habits of self-government. I wrote two months ago that forcing a resolution of Iraq's cosmic dilemmas by some arbitrary date could serve only to exacerbate existing divisions. This has indeed happened. Nonetheless, the Iraqi constitution project is a fact. It has produced a document. It goes to referendum on Oct. 15. And all the lamentations and rending of garments over the text are highly overblown. [...] (Washington Post)

A week after the draft constitution was declared final, discreet talks were under way to refine language in a bid to win Sunni approval and ease fears of Iraq's Arab neighbors that the charter will loosen the country's ties to the Arab world, officials said Friday. As negotiators discussed possible changes, thousands of Shiite supporters and Sunni opponents of the document took to the streets Friday to express their views ahead of the decisive Oct. 15 referendum. [..] (AP)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Power Line: Haider Ajina sends us these poll results, which he has translated from today's edition of the Iraqi newspaper Alhayat: A poll taken by “The Iraqi center for national development & dialog”, which is headed by former Planning minister Mahdi Alhafith. Reveals 88% of Iraqis polled said they will participate in the next vote (for the constitution) on the 15th of October. 5% said they will not vote 6% had not decided yet. [...]

Sunday, August 28, 2005

IRAQI president Jalal Talabani has said Iraq's draft constitution is ready to be put to the vote in an October 15 referendum, ending weeks of tortuous negotiations. "The draft constitution is ready and will be presented to the Iraqi people, who are known for their intelligence, to give their verdict on October 15," Mr Talabani said at a ceremony overnight to mark the end of the drafting process. "There are objections from our Sunni Arab brothers ... but nobody can claim that they represent the whole spectrum of Sunni Arabs," said the president, who is a Kurd. He said the draft, when approved by the people, would become the "fundamental law" of the nation. "If the nation rejects it, we will write another one," said Mr Talabani. Iraq's parliament held a special session on the draft constitution but did not vote on it. (Daily Telegraph [UK])

Backgrounder: Twists and turns in making Iraq's constitution. A draft constitution of Iraq was signed by an overwhelming majority of the panel on Sunday. Here is a brief account of the twists and turns experienced in the making of the permanent constitution. [...] (XINHUA online)