Wednesday, September 07, 2005

In order to keep you updated on the constitutional process in Iraq, I translated this report from Baghdad's Al-Mashriq newspaper:

Maryam Arrayis (CDC member) told Al-Mashriq that there will be minor changes to the current draft before sending it to the UN before this weekend.
Ms. Arrayis stressed that the changes are minor and do not change the essence of the constitution.
She said that the expected changes will relate to the issues of the role of Iraq in the Arab league and the way of handling the resources by the provinces/federal states and the central government and deciding who's got the final word in case of differences. Regarding the 2nd point, Arrayis said that the Sheat block is in favor of giving the central government a bigger role since they consider this issue "sovereignty-related".

On the other hands, the Kurdish block had a suggestion to reduce the powers of the prime minister by assigning two deputies and granting them the right of the veto, this suggestion wasn't welcomed by the Sheat block that refused stepping on the authorities of the prime minister building their discussion on the fact that the prime minister himself is the one who appoints the deputies and gives them their authorities.

It is planned to get all this done with by this weekend and then the process of printing 5 million copies of the document will begin; those copies shall be distributed to Iraqi families through food ration distributors.

Arrayis also criticized the negative attitude of the Arab League towards Iraq and she condemned the interference in Iraq's internal and political affairs while most Arab countries didn't show sympathy or provided help after the tragedy of the bridge stampede in Baghdad and Arrayis commended what President Talbani said about exchanging diplomatic representation with Arab countries when he played down the significance of having Arab embassies in Baghdad "we're not going to beg for embassies and we're not going to starve if Arab countries refused sending their ambassadors…" said Talbani on a previous statement last week.

It's worth mentioning that the process of registering the voters has ended and there will be an extra million voter this time with a total of over 15.5 million voters. In Anbar province around 50,000 voters registered their names in the voter's lists in addition to the names that already exist.


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