Day By Day

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Congratulations Iraq

AP reports:
Baghdad, Iraq, Iraq's landmark constitution was adopted fairly by a majority of voters during the country's Oct. 15 referendum, as Sunni Arab opponents failed to muster enough support to defeat it, election officials said Tuesday. A prominent Sunni politician called the vote "a farce."

Results released by the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq after a 10-day-audit showed that Sunni Arabs, who had sharply opposed the draft document, failed to produce the two-thirds "no" vote they would have needed in at least three of Iraq's 18 provinces to defeat it.

Farid Ayar, an official with the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq who announced the results, said the commission's audit of the vote had turned up no significant fraud.

Carina Perelli, the U.N. elections chief, also praised a "very good job" with the audit and said "Iraq should be proud of the commission."

But Saleh al-Mutlaq, a Sunni Arab member of the committee that drafted the constitution, called the referendum "a farce" and accused government forces of stealing ballot boxes to reduce the percentage of "no" votes in several mostly Sunni-Arab provinces.

The key point here is that the UN has accepted the results of the election, giving the new Iraqi government a legitimacy with the "world community" that will be of immense value, even essential, in coming years. There was absolutely no hope that the result would not be denounced by at least some Sunni leaders, so their objections are not to be taken seriously. Of course, anti-war and defeatist elements in the MSM will highlight continuing Sunni disapproval, but to reiterate, acceptance of the vote by international bodies is a major step toward resolving the situation in Iraq and for that reason is something to celebrate.

Regarding negative reporting, check out the BBC account:

The majority vote approving Iraq's constitution looks impressive - 78.59% to 21.41% - but the results hide a strong vote against by the Sunni population which was not far from derailing it.
At least this time, many of the Sunnis voted compared to their refusal to do so in the elections to the current Transitional Assembly in January. To that extent they can be said to have been drawn into the political process, though their negative attitude to the constitution on which their future rests does not bode well.
However, the result does not mean the start of normal politics in Iraq. It is a milestone along the way, not the destination itself.
Read it here.

Oh my, so many "buts" and "howevers." Can't we just be glad at the progress being made?

I guess not... that would mean confronting the real world and ideological disputation is so much more fun.

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