October 11, 2005

Iraqi Constitution Deal Reached

Hatched by Sachi

AP is reporting that at the last minute, the Iraqi assembly has finally reached agreement between all three major ethnic groups, Shia, Kurd, and Sunni, on the new constitution (hat tip to John at Power Line). The agreement is only with one Sunni group -- the Iraqi Islamic Party -- but it's the first crack in the solid wall of Sunni rejectionism.

Iraqis Reach Breakthrough Deal on Charter
Oct 11, 2005, 8:53 PM (ET)
by Lee Keath

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi negotiators reached a breakthrough deal on the constitution Tuesday, and at least one Sunni Arab party said it would now urge its followers to approve the charter in this weekend's referendum. Suicide bombings and other attacks killed more than 50 people in the insurgent campaign aimed at intimidating voters.

Under the deal, the two sides agreed on a mechanism to consider amending the constitution after it is approved in Saturday's referendum. The next parliament, to be formed in December, will set up a commission to consider amendments, which would later have to be approved by parliament and submitted to another referendum.

The most significant addition only changes how future constitutional amendments will be considered. Sunni leaders are worried that the current federalist constitution gives too much autonomy to Shia and Kurds:

The central addition allows the next parliament, which will be formed in Dec. 15 elections, to form the commission, which will have four months to consider changes to the constitution. The changes would be approved by the entire parliament, then a referendum would be held two months later.

That is no guarantee that Sunnis will be able to make the changes they seek. They are likely to have a stronger representation in the next parliament, but would still face a strong Shiite and Kurdish majority that would likely oppose major changes.

This is indeed great news, assuming the agreement holds at least through Saturday's vote. No matter how hard the terrorists try to frighten the Iraqis out of freedom, the people are determine to have their constitution. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope rest of the Sunnis will vote "Yes."

Hatched by Sachi on this day, October 11, 2005, at the time of 6:47 PM

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