Monday, August 22, 2005

More On Iraq's Constitution

According to the Wash Post:
Shiites and Kurds were sending a draft constitution to parliament on Monday that would fundamentally change Iraq, transforming the country into a loose federation, with a weak central administration governed by Islamic law, negotiators said.

The draft, slated for action by a Monday deadline, would be a sweeping rejection of the demands of Iraq's disaffected Sunni minority, which has called the proposed federal system the start of the breakup of Iraq. Shiites and Kurds indicated they were in no mood to compromise.

"We gave a choice -- whoever doesn't want federalism can opt not to practice it," said Shiite constitutional committee member Ali Debagh. Debagh acknowledged the Sunni minority would be unlikely to accept such a draft in a national vote scheduled for October, saying, "We depended upon democracy in writing the constitution and will depend upon it in the referendum."

Sunnis, who had complained of being shut out of talks in recent days, said they still were negotiating. "I don't think there will be a constitution tonight," said Salih Mutlak, the most vocal Sunni moderator.
Is this the start of the fracture of Iraq or can dialogue and moderation rule the day and give Iraq a unified, yet federal, state. The draft goes to the Iraqi Parliament in a little more than 30 minutes.

Updates to follow.