Monday, March 01, 2004

Okay, some Good News

The iraqis have come to a consensus on the constitution. this is really good.

Iraqis Agree on Constitution, Islam Role

Mar 1, 9:12 AM (ET)


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi politicians agreed early Monday on an interim constitution with a wide ranging bill of rights and a single chief executive, bridging a gulf between members over the role of Islam in the future government, coalition and Iraqi officials said.

The document set national elections to be held by Jan. 31, 2005, to create a legislature, with a goal of having women in at least a quarter of the seats. But negotiators were unable to agree on many aspects of Kurdish autonomy, leaving them to be determined later.

The new constitution, a key step in the U.S. plan to turn over power on June 30, will be signed by top American administrator L. Paul Bremer on Wednesday, after the Shiite Muslim religious holiday of Ashoura ends, a coalition official said on condition of anonymity. The charter will remain in effect until a permanent constitution is drafted and ratified next year.

The coalition official said the document strikes a balance between the role of Islam and the bill of individual rights and democratic principles, by calling Islam a source, but not a primary one, for the implementation of civil law.

With approval of the interim constitution, the last remaining step is to decide how to constitute a new government to take power from the U.S.-led occupation authority June 30. The American blueprint called for choosing a legislature through regional caucuses, but the plan fell apart after Shiite clerics demanded the lawmakers be chosen in a national election.
The charter has a 13-article bill of rights, including protections for free speech, religious expression, assembly and due process and spells out the shape of an executive branch.

well, okay. i'm done like a clown. looks like there are some ties that are going to bind these people closer as a nation, rather than as a group of competing ethnic groups. and that is great.

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