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October 16, 2005
Iraqis Appear To Approve Constitution -- With Some Sunni Support

The Iraqis appear to have delivered a huge statement to the Zarqawi-led insurgency and naysayers around the world, convinced that the Iraqis would not accept democracy "imposed" on them. Even in areas where the AP describes turnout as lower than expected, it reported it in the high 50s, a showing that would receive favorable reviews for an American presidential election:

Iraq's landmark constitution seemed assured of passage Sunday after initial results showed minority Sunni Arabs had fallen short in an effort to veto it at the polls. The apparent acceptance was a major step in the attempt to establish a democratic government that could lead to the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Opponents failed to secure the necessary two-thirds "no" vote in any three of Iraqi's 18 provinces, according to counts that local officials provided to The Associated Press. In the crucial central provinces with mixed ethnic and religious populations, enough Shiites and Kurds voted to stymie the Sunni bid to reject the constitution.

The last-minute deal to clarify the amendment process and make it easier to initiate apparently mollified much of the Sunni opposition to the plebescite, as predicted. Anbar and Salahuddin both voted against the constitution with a 90% turnout getting an apparent two-thirds majority "no" vote, the threshold needed for rejection. However, in two other majority-Sunni provinces, the constitution actually passed with slim majorities, and it looks sure to sail towards approval all around the rest of the country.

The turnout, according to the New York Times today, appears to have topped 10 million -- adding 1.5 million voters to the total turnout of the successful January elections which created the National Assembly. That raised the turnout from 58% to 65%, an indication of the passion that the prospect of constitutional rule evinces among the once-oppressed Iraqis as well as the disagreement over the best way to implement it. Unlike the January elections, there seems to be little dispute about the methodology used to reach a conclusion for the disagreements. All sides have adopted the ballot over the bullet -- a major development regardless of how the vote itself turned out.

With the new constitution in place, Iraq can finally hold elections under its own, self-developed code of government and establish itself as a citadel of popular self-government in a region dominated by minority strongmen and kleptocratic families of emirs. That will create a strong example of the ability of Arabs to turn their backs on constipated conspiarcy theories designed to keep them radicalized and impotent and to empower themselves to build and maintain their own government.

That's how the Bush administration will win the war against terror. One by one, the nations of the region which produces the terrorists will instead start producing voters rather than radicals. The tinpot dictators will flee, and the kleptocratic families will either retreat into constitutional monarchies or suffer the same fate.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 16, 2005 6:48 PM

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» Iraqi's Approve Constitution from Diggers Realm
Hey hey! It looks like the Iraqi's are ready to move forward as they went to the polls this weekend. Even more voters participated than in January which is a sign that Iraqi's are not only interested in their future,... [Read More]

Tracked on October 16, 2005 10:33 PM

» Iraq Votes on Constitution from Donkey Stomp
The people of Iraq voted yesterday for their constitution. There was a great turnout despite media warnings of terror attacks and it looks as though the constitution has passed. This is another step to bring more democracy to that area.... [Read More]

Tracked on October 17, 2005 3:04 PM

» Links and Minifeatures 10 17 Monday from Searchlight Crusade
Iraq the Model has various items on the Iraqi election. From what I can see of his coverage, turnout was perhaps not as high as e... [Read More]

Tracked on October 17, 2005 6:19 PM

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