Sunday, September 04, 2005

SUNNIS and the Iraqi constitution:
To vote or not to vote? That is the question that the Arab Sunni community in Iraq is asking as it ponders what position to take vis-à-vis the proposed draft constitution.

The question is not easy to answer. There is much in this draft that the Sunnis, along with most other Iraqis, like. The draft guarantees their individual human rights, protects their faith and culture, and points the way to a future in freedom and prosperity. At the same time, however, the proposed draft paints a picture in which the Arab Sunni minority will never be able to see itself in control of virtually all levers of power, as was the case before the war.

While it is too early to predict what the Arab Sunnis will do, one thing is certain. A majority of them have decided to remain active within the electoral process, that is to say seeking to get a better deal through elections rather than via insurgency and terrorism. In this the Arab Sunnis, accounting for some 15 percent of the population, are joining Iraq’s other communities that, for the time being at least, seem to favor ballots to bullets. The showdown will come on Oct. 15 when the proposed draft is put to a popular referendum.

Legally, the proposed draft could be killed if any three provinces, out of the 18, reject it with two-third majorities. Politically, it could also die of anemia, which is to say if it is approved by a small majority in a low turnout.

This is why Iraqis from all ethnic and religious backgrounds are queuing up to register to vote. They understand the stakes involved. No one knows how many of those who are rushing to register intend to kill the proposed draft with their votes.

Even before its publication the proposed constitution had been attacked by those who had opposed the liberation of Iraq in the first place.
Amir Taheri then goes on to touch the two issues -federalism and role of Islam- which have war and Bush critics hyperventilating most; he deconstructs both.

(barretina tip: Yeda)

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