Thursday, June 30, 2005

Constitution update.

Baha' Al-'Araji, a member of the constitution drafting committee told Al-Mada paper yesterday that there are going to be 5 spots in each Iraqi province where citizens can find designated boxes where they can put their opinions and suggestion as to the process of writing the constitution.
Only Baghdad will be an exception due to its high population so there will be 5 spots in each main quarter in the capital.

One million "suggestion forms" are planned to be distributed nationwide soon and there will be specialized teams to read, sort the received forms and prepare summaries that will eventually be submitted periodically to the main committee.
He also mentioned-according to the paper-that the committee has already purchased air time on satellite channels and columns space on papers (ten in total) to publish/broadcast materials of value to constitutional education to help people get a better understanding of the process.

The same paper also has published (exclusively as paper said) a big part of the draft of bill of rights (pdf Arabic).
These 23 clauses that were drafted by "committee of rights, freedoms and basic duties" are scheduled to be submitted to the rest of the members to be discussed and modified within a couple of days.

As you can see, the document is too big to translate but my 1st impression is that it's acceptable in general, especially when it comes to equality among citizens, the laws of citizenship and the freedom of expression except for that...well, there were probably too many clauses that contained something like "…has the right to…unless that contradicts with the basic values and teachings of Islam and the traditions of the Iraqi society".

I hope they can omit some of these restrictions in the coming discussions before the final shape version of the draft is reached; basically because terms like ethics, values and traditions differ from one city to another and sometimes there are differences even within the same city, especially the big cities that have mixed populations.
So I believe it'd be much better if such loose terms are avoided.

No comments: