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Old 10-26-2005, 01:55 AM   #1
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Iraq draft constitution approved!

Iraq draft constitution approved, officials say

Results from Oct. 15 referendum indicate 78.59 percent backed charter

Updated: 2:56 p.m. ET Oct. 25, 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq’s constitution was adopted by a majority in a fair vote during the Oct. 15 referendum, as Sunni Arab opponents failed to muster enough support to defeat it, election officials said Tuesday. A prominent Sunni politician called the balloting “a farce.”

The U.S. military announced the deaths of two Marines in fighting with insurgents last week in Baghdad, bringing to 1,999 the number of American service members killed since the war started in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The referendum results, announced after a 10-day audit following allegations of fraud, confirmed previous indications that Sunni Arabs failed to produce the two-thirds “no” vote they would have needed in at least three of Iraq’s 18 provinces to defeat the constitution.

The charter is considered a major step in Iraq’s democratic reforms, clearing the way for the election of a new, full-term parliament on Dec. 15. Such steps are important in any decision about the future withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

However, some fear the victory, which came despite a large turnout by Sunni Arabs to try to defeat it, could enrage many members of the minority and fuel their support for the country’s Sunni-led insurgency.

'Very good job'
Carina Perelli, the U.N. elections chief, praised a “very good job” with the audit of results by election officials and said “Iraq should be proud of the commission.”

Iraq’s top two coalition partners, the United States and Britain, also welcomed the results.

“The Iraqis are making inspiring progress toward building a democracy,” President Bush said. “By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress, from tyranny to liberation to national elections to the ratification of a constitution in the space of two and a half years.”

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Iraqis “have shown again their determination to defy the terrorists and take part in the democratic process.” Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini also welcomed the results, saying Italy would keep supporting the political process in the country.

Farid Ayar, an official with the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, said the audit had turned up no significant fraud.

Allegations of fraud from Sunnis
But Saleh al-Mutlaq, a Sunni Arab member of the committee that drafted the constitution, called the referendum “a farce” and accused government forces of stealing ballot boxes to reduce the percentage of “no” votes in several mostly Sunni provinces.

“The people were shocked to find out that their vote is worthless because of the major fraud that takes place in Iraq,” he said on Al-Arabiya TV.

Adnan al-Dulaimi, a spokesman for the General Conference for the People of Iraq, a largely Sunni coalition of politicians and tribal leaders, said the audit took so long it left many Sunnis suspicious of possible fraud and manipulation. But he said his group “will work to educate Iraqis and get them to participate” in the December vote.

The charter was drafted after months of bitter negotiations that ended with some Sunni leaders agreeing to support it with provisions that future changes were possible.

The vote on the constitution was 78.59 percent for ratification and 21.41 percent against, the commission said. The charter required a simple majority nationwide with the provision that if two-thirds of the voters in any three provinces rejected it, the constitution would be defeated.

Three provinces voted no
The election commission said the predominantly Sunni province of Ninevah had produced a “no” vote of 55 percent. Only two other mostly Sunni provinces — Salahuddin and Anbar — had voted no by two-thirds or more. Ninevah had been a focus of fraud allegations since preliminary results had showed a large majority of voters had approved the constitution, despite a large Sunni Arab population there.

Many Kurds and majority Shiites strongly support the constitution, but Sunni Arabs fear it will create two virtually autonomous and oil-rich mini-states of Kurds in the north and Sunnis in the south, while leaving many Sunnis isolated in poor central and western regions with a weak central government in Baghdad.

Some 9.8 million Iraqis cast ballots, or 63 percent of registered voters. About 60 percent turned out for January’s legislative vote, which was boycotted by many Sunni Arabs.

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Old 10-26-2005, 04:04 PM   #2
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he is grateful the revolution is progressing

and Saddam is gone.

without more Iranian sacrifices.

his blessings are on Bush the lesser.

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Old 10-26-2005, 05:36 PM   #3
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Originally posted by deep

he is grateful the revolution is progressing

and Saddam is gone.

without more Iranian sacrifices.

his blessings are on Bush the lesser.
His revolution is dead and his country is moving in the opposite direction from where it was in 1979. The Iraqi Shia, who make up the majority of Iraqi's who fought and died against Iran in the 1980s are not necessarily stooges of Iran's current regime. They are Iraqi's, Arabs, with a different language and culture from Iran. They do share a religion and they do form a majority in Iraq. But they have to build consensus with Iraq's other ethnic and political groups in order to succeed. In addition, the Shia are split up among themselves in terms of politics and do not function necessarily as one entity on all political issues.

The Bush administration objectives for building democracy in Iraq remain on track. The insurgents once again failed to stop the process from moving foward. Michael Moore and his flock said the January elections would never happen, but 8 million Iraqi citizens and hundreds of thousands of Coalition and Iraqi troops proved them wrong. Once again, they have been proved wrong with the passing of the referundum on the consitution by strong majority. More people voted in this referendum than in the January elections. The insurgents failed once again, by even a greater margin this time given the large increase in voter turnout. Elections for a permanent government are set for December 15.

Anyone wishing for Saddam to be returned to power, your hopes are quickly fading. Welcome to the new, developing, multi-ethnic Democracy in the heart of the Arab world.

Thanks to all the troops of the coalition forces who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for this to happen and continue to work and sacrifice in order for democracy and stability to be fully achieved in Iraq, insuring the security and stability of the Persian Gulf and the rest of the region. It is amazing how much has been accomplished in such a short period of time.
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:37 PM   #4
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do you work for fox news? just curious.
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