Monday, August 22, 2005

Iraqi Constitutional Vote Delayed 3 More Days

In a bid to gain support from the Sunni minority, the Iraqi National Assembly accepted a draft constitution but will take three more days to try to hammer out differences regarding federalism and distribution of oil revenues. From an American Forces Press Service release by Donna Miles:
Negotiators worked through the day to come up with a compromise, but as the clock ticked toward midnight, they opted to deliver the draft constitution to the National Assembly.
The Sunni minority, Saddam Hussein's constituency, has threatened civil war if they feel excluded from the constitutional drafting process. The Iraqi terrorist insurgency is Sunni-backed.

From the Associated Press:
The Shiite-Kurdish bloc that submitted the draft constitution expressed optimism that a deal was still possible within a few days. But top Sunni Arab leaders said flatly that compromise was far off.

More than 20 issues still divide the sides, said Saleh al-Mutlaq, one of four top Sunni Arab negotiators. Those issues include federalism, power-sharing and even how the constitution should speak about Islam.
Sunni obstinacy begs the question of whether or not Sunni delegates are serious about wanting a constitution or are angling for a return to Baathist rule, under which they enjoyed hegemony over the Shiites and Kurds. Sunnis may be delaying the new constitution in the hope that cowards and traitors within the United States can convince Americans to pull out of Iraq prematurely.