Thursday, September 29, 2005

Opposition to Iraqi constitution weakening

Knight Ridder's Nancy A. Youssef reports that the Iraqi constitution will likely pass the referendum on October 15:

The two strongest opponents of Iraq's proposed new constitution said this week that they wouldn't campaign against it aggressively, making it likely that voters will approve the constitution in an Oct. 15 referendum.

Passage would be a victory for the Bush administration's Iraq policy, but it's unclear whether the document will produce a stable Iraqi government with broad public support or further alienate the country's Sunni Muslim Arab minority.
So many Sunnis will vote "no," but it looks they won't have the numbers to jettison the entire draft.

Looking forward, American and Iraqi governmental officials are hopeful that the approval of the constitution will validate, to some degree, Iraq's coming elections in December and encourage members of the insurgency to abandon their oppositional pose by engaging the formal political process.

Of course, as the recent ICG report attests, pushing the constitution through could just as easily accelerate the country's civil war by further entrenching Sunnis against the government.