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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Deal on Iraqi Constitution

Los Angeles Times:

Top Iraqi politicians said late Tuesday that they had reached a deal to persuade leading Sunni Arabs to support a draft constitution that will be the subject of a national referendum Saturday. Under the terms of the compromise, Sunni leaders would drop their opposition to the constitution if the current National Assembly requires its successor to renegotiate the charter. A new legislature is to be elected in December, and the deal mandates that a second constitutional referendum would be held within four months. 'If the present National Assembly approves this amendment, we will change our attitude to say yes,' said Ayad Samarayee, leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the main Sunni Arab group.
This seems very signifigant and very positive.


Blogger honestpartisan said...

I don't want to begrudge some good news, but isn't this a case of kicking the can down the road a bit? (To use the derisive term Social Security privatization proponents leveled against people like me). It doesn't address the substantive differences between the Sunnis and the Shi'a/Kurd bloc (federalism, sharia) so much as defer them to a later date.

I will grant that one can envision that passage of time could be helpful in this regard, giving the parties an opportunity to negotiate and come up with a face-saving compromise. But it doesn't strike me as really that significant or hopeful in and of itself.

10/12/2005 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

The first thing it does is signal a fairly broad agreement by the Sunnis to participate in the process. They want a new set of negotiators to be elected (primarily because they pretty much stayed out of the January election) but they have agreed on the basic idea of negotiating and then voting on a solution. That is a huge step.

Beyond that, the basic structure of the constitution will remain the same, some of the details will be worked over in the next referendum will be mostly details, not the major structure.

10/13/2005 06:43:00 AM  

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