Iraqi Constitution

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Iraqis went to the polls on Saturday, October 15, 2005, to vote in a referendum on the new Iraqi Constitution.

"The passage of the draft charter would constitute a significant step toward restoring Iraq's full independence and pave the way for a new round of elections Dec. 15 for a permanent government." [1]


Election Fraud

Draft Finalized

The most recent draft of the Iraqi Constitution was finalized August 28, 2005, and presented to the Iraqi National Assembly in Baghdad, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/FL) reported.

"Despite the Sunnis failing to support the document, Iraq's President decided to read the draft constitution to the fledgling country's transitional parliament anyway, with the goal of putting it to a national referendum in mid-October." [2]

"The draft was proposed by a Shi'a and Kurdish bloc within the parliamentary drafting committee. It was signed by the full committee ... after the inclusion of last-minute amendments aimed at appeasing Sunni Arabs," RFE/RL reported.

"Iraq's parliament then convened a special session to hear a reading of the draft charter.

"The session ended without a vote on the document. It is unclear whether a parliamentary vote is mandatory, but some Iraqi lawmakers suggest such a vote is needed to give the document political credibility."

"Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba said it is too early to say whether a formal split over the document is emerging within Iraq's Sunni community."

"The draft now faces a public referendum across Iraq on 15 October. It will be defeated if two-thirds of voters in any three provinces reject the charter. Sunnis control strong majorities in at least four Iraqi provinces. ... Kubba admitted that Iraq's Sunni community could block the draft constitution if it is unified behind a 'no' vote campaign." [3]

Iraqi Government in Violation of Own Interim Constitution

Professor Juan Cole illuminated reality August 22, 2005:

The Iraqi government is violating its own interim constitution.
"According to the interim constitution, the permanent constitution should have been presented to parliament and passed by August 15 [2005]. There should have been two readings of it, two days apart, before the vote. Otherwise, parliament should have been dissolved and new elections called. Parliament avoided this fate with a last-minute amendment of the interim constitution, allowed if by 3/4 vote, though the nicety of two readings of the amendment two days apart was dispensed with (arguably, unconstitutionally, though it is a relatively minor affair). The amendment stipulated that the new constitution would by passed by August 22, with other conditions unchanged.
"The new constitution, with blank passages, was presented to parliament just before midnight on August 22. But parliament did not vote on it, and a 'three-day delay' was announced.
"Announced?
"The rule of law is no longer operating in Iraq, and no pretence of constitutional procedure is being striven for. In essence, the prime minister and president have made a sort of coup, simply disregarding the interim constitution. Given the acquiescence of parliament and the absence of a supreme court (which should have been appointed by now but was not, also unconstitutionally), there is no check or balance that could question the writ of the executive.

Iraqi Constitution and women's rights

Also see:

Iraqi Constitution: Background

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

Documents

Articles & Commentary

2003

2004

  • "Iraqi officials agree on draft of constitution," Associated Press (USA Today), February 28, 2004.
  • "New interim constitution for Iraq," CNN, March 8, 2004.
  • Robin Wright, "White House Sends Senior Official to Iraq. Aim Is to Salvage Latest Bid to Form a Government," Washington Post, March 13, 2004: "The Bush administration has dispatched a [unnamed] senior White House official to Baghdad to rescue its already troubled new attempt to form an interim Iraqi government, the pivotal step in the political transition before the U.S.-led occupation ends on June 30 ... The mission is, in part, to persuade the 25-member Iraqi Governing Council to quit stalling on inviting the United Nations back, both to mediate a solution to the immediate crisis and to help prepare for elections after the United States leaves. Key Shiite leaders have broken with others on the Governing Council and are frustrating U.S. attempts to get the United Nations to return, U.S. officials and envoys of coalition."
  • Nathan Newman, "Why US Occupation Continues after June," nathannewman.com, March 15, 2004: "Bush wants to claim that with the new Constitution passed, power will be turned over to Iraqis after June of this year. ... It's a lie. ... The new government under the new constitution will be barred from overturning any laws that the US has imposed on the country since the Occupation. ... Why can't they change them? ... Because of this provision in the Constitution, Article 26: Except as otherwise provided in this Law, the laws in force in Iraq on 30 June 2004 shall remain in effect unless and until rescinded or amended by the Iraqi Transitional Government in accordance with this Law. ... Note that the 'Iraqi Transitional Government' doesn't come into existence until new elections occur, which can be as late as December 2005--a long period to be governed by Paul Bremer's recently enacted pro-corporate laws."

2005