Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The constitutions passed, more elections soon...

As most of you have probably seen in the news yesterday, the constitution has been ratified after 78% of votes were found to be ‘yes’ and no three provinces turned it down by two 3rds of the votes.

I know I was supposed to comment on this sooner than now but honestly I didn’t feel like it because the news didn’t make me feel in any special way and I assume many Iraqis felt the same since the public didn’t show a significant reaction. To be more accurate, there were a few celebratory gatherings in the south but nothing major and especially no riots or anti-constitution rallies in the usual hot spots.
After all, we've written a ton about this subject in the past several months so my conscience isn't going to torture me if was a day late this time!

On the other hand, politicians are more excited who. Of course Kurdish and Sheat politicians praised the approval of the constitution while some Sunni ones expressed doubts about fraud in counting the ballots in provinces with Sunni majority but even politicians cannot afford to waste much time to either lament or celebrate since there’s another decisive electoral race coming and they are more interested in spending the next 50 days campaigning and getting publicity for their slates.

Actually the Sunni parties have already started working on that; today spokesmen of three Sunni parties announced that they intend to enter the December elections as one body.
The three parties are the Islamic Party, the Ahl Al-Iraq Council and the National Dialogue Council. This came only two weeks after the Islamic Party made a deal with the Kurdish and Sheat parties to back the constitution. This deal was strongly criticized by the other two Sunni parties mentioned above and this indicates that they want to put their differences behind their backs for a while and watch for the coming elections.
Watching this, one can predict that the new parliament will have at least 4 major blocs instead of 3 and this will certainly reduce the possibility of having the decision making power monopolized by one bloc, which is good in general.

I have explained before that I’m personally not so excited about the document itself and therefore I view the approval as a step that allows us to introduce amendments.
Anyway, it was a positive step that brought a sense of relief to the majority of our people.

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