Monday, October 24, 2005

Iraqi charter in balance

Two Sunni-dominated provinces in Iraq have rejected the country's draft constitution, according to partial results given by election officials. Electoral rules mean the document will fail if three out of the 18 provinces vote "No" by two-thirds or more.

Salahuddin and Anbar both heavily voted against but Diyala, also Sunni, has backed the charter.

Now all eyes are on the largely Sunni province of Nineveh where the result is due to be announced within two days.

If the constitution were to fail, it would set the political process back by roughly a year.

New elections will be held in December and the resulting parliament would again undertake the task of producing another constitution, our correspondent says.

In Anbar, 97% of voters cast "No" ballots while it was 82% against in Salahuddin, electoral commission chief Abdel Hussein al-Hindawi told reporters, quoting preliminary figures

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