Sunday, July 31, 2005

Constitution update.

It was expected that the suggested draft of the constitution which I posted several day ago would fuel arguments and serious discussions in the corridors of the National Assembly and the government and from what I heard and read in local media and from some information that leaked from some politicians, I learned that some of the upsetting articles of the draft have been changed or omitted while some other articles are still being discussed.

First of all there's the clause that says "5-The Iraqi state is part of the Islamic and Arabic worlds or (the Iraqi state is a founding member of the Arab league and the Islamic conference organization)" and this one is more likely to be omitted after strong opposition from the Kurdish block as well as clear public disagreement with this clause.
Actually the observer now can see a growing interest in the concept of "The Iraqi Nation" among the people here as this concept gives better guarantees for equality among citizens regardless of their ethnic, religious backgrounds and consequently empowers patriotism which is so needed in Iraq at this stage after Iraqis lost the sense of patriotism after decades of living like strangers and 3rd or 4th class citizens in their own country.

Then there's the clause that suggested the addition of Persian as a main ethic component of the Iraqi society and this one has been omitted after objections from many MPs including many from the She'at coalition block.

And regarding the most critical issue which is defining the role of religion in the constitution, there's also a good possibility for changing the part that said "2-Islam is the official religion of the state and it is the main source of legislations…" to something like "Islam is …..and it's a main source of legislations" or "…is one of the sources of legislations" and either way is going to somehow protect the rights of women and human rights in general and at the same time satisfy the demands of religious parties and frankly speaking I don't think it's possible at the moment to have no mention of Islam in the constitution.

Another controversial point was the distribution of revenues of important resources (mainly oil money) among the federal counties (or provinces) and the central state and apparently they have settled on a resolution that assigns 90% of these incomes to the central state while the remaining 10% would go directly to the province to be invested by the local authorities in projects that focus mainly on the infra structure or according to the needs of the province.

And regarding the question of whether an Iraqi citizen has the right to carry another nationality in addition to his Iraqi one, it's been agreed upon that it is possible to have two nationalities but that citizen will not have the right to become president or Prime Minister of the country.

Anyhow, tomorrow is going to be decisive and tomorrow we will get to know if additional time is needed or not and perhaps we will see more parts of the draft being affirmed, changed or argued about.
It's only a matter of less than 24 hours till we get to know what's really going to happen.

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