Saturday, October 15, 2005

Iraq’s Constitution and Democracy?

Today’s constitutional vote should mark the turning point for Iraq. And the outcome of this vote is more important than many could ever guess or think. We are at the cross roads, one path would lead to chaos and a civil war while the other would finally bring reconciliation and peace to Iraq and set an example that democracy and peaceful political participation is the only way forward and that the voice of every Iraqi does have a value and can change the political landscape.

Enormous efforts have been made to pass this constitution in spite of the Sunis rejections and fears. The Western media and Iraqi Government media keep hinting that the constitution will be ratified and that the latest amendments to the draft has convinced enough Sunis to vote ‘Yes’ to the draft (Which is completely untrue). This eagerness to pre-judge the results and somehow prepare the media to accept a preordained ‘Yes’ vote before the results are even cast or counted somehow smacks of a conspiracy to prepare the public to accept the ‘Yes’ vote before hand.
This is very dangerous in my opinion.

If there is one thing that is clear from today’s turnout polling numbers is that Sunis in their majority held cities and provinces have in fact turned out in Massive numbers to vote ‘No’ for the constitution and to cast it down. You only have to look at the turn out numbers in cities such as Mosul, Kirkuk, Diyala, Baghdad, and provinces of Sallahaddin, Naynawa, and Anbar, to see that these areas which have substantial popular Suni and Turkmen rejection to the constitution have finally heeded the democratic call and headed out in force to cast their voice.

Now, as we all know the final counting will not be done at the polling stations but instead the count will be done at the green zone under the control and supervision of the Iraqi government and American administrations. If the results come back and do not coincide with the voting that went on, then I fear that the Suni populations would up in arms and completely be disenchanted with the idea of continuing their involvement in a peaceful political participation.

These are the turnout levels recorded in the 18 provinces in Iraq according to the electoral commission in the latest press conference:

High= more than 66%
Moderate= 33% - 66%
Low= less than 33%

Duhok: moderate.
Erbil: moderate.
Sulaymania: high.
Mosul: high.
Kirkuk: high.
Diyala: high.
Anbar: unknown.
Baghdad: high.
Babil: high.
Kerbala: high.
Wasit: moderate.
Salahiddin: high.
Al-Muthana: moderate.
Al-Qadisiya: low.
Najaf: high.
Thi Qar: moderate.
Maysan: moderate.
Basra: moderate.

5 Comments:

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