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Fate Of Iraqi Constitution Rests On One Province

24 October 2005 -- The fate of Iraq's landmark 15 October constitutional referendum has come down to one province.

Under Iraqi law, two-thirds of voters in at least three of the country's 18 provinces must reject the charter for it to be defeated outright.

Today, Iraq's Electoral Commission said two provinces have rejected the constitution. The provinces of Salaheddin and Anbar are overwhelmingly made up of Sunni Arabs.

The constitution's fate now rests on results from Nineveh, a mixed province of Sunni Arabs, Shi'ites, and other groups.

Results from Nineveh are due on 25 or 26 October.

Supporters say the constitution will help Iraq's democratic transformation. Sunni Arabs say it gives too much power to Kurds and the majority Shi'a.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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