Where Iraqis stand on constitution

Where Iraqis stand on constitution
October 14th, 2005  
Team Infidel

Topic: Where Iraqis stand on constitution

Where Iraqis stand on constitution
Oct 14 (Reuters) - Iraqis vote on Saturday in a referendum on a
draft constitution proposed by the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led parliament but
opposed by many in the once-dominant Sunni Arab minority.
Here is how the main movements view the vote:
ISLAMIC DAWA PARTY - Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's Shi'ite
Islamist party has played a central role in drafting the constitution;
Jaafari has called for "maximum effort" to ensure the charter is passed.
power behind the Shi'ite Islamist coalition, SCIRI leader Abdul Aziz
al-Hakim has told followers it is their religious duty to vote "Yes". Formed
in exile in Iran to oppose Saddam Hussein, SCIRI denies accusations that it
takes guidance from Tehran or condones Shi'ite militia death squads.
IRAQI NATIONAL CONGRESS - Led by secular Shi'ite Ahmad Chalabi, a
U.S. favourite in exile who fell out with Washington after the 2003
invasion. Chalabi has overall charge of Iraq's oil industry and has backed
the constitution's provisions for a federal state, which Sunnis fear could
result in oil-rich Shi'ite and Kurdish areas depriving them of prosperity.
PATRIOTIC UNION OF KURDISTAN - President Jalal Talabani has worked
hard to ease fears among fellow secular Iraqis and Sunnis that the
constitution will usher in an Iranian-style Shi'ite Islamic state, promoting
the charter as flawed but overall a guarantee of a democratic and
pluralistic federal government.
KURDISTAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY - Its leader, Massoud Barzani, is the
head of the Kurdistan regional government and has taken a relatively
uncompromising stance in support of the constitution as a guarantor of
Kurdish autonomy after decades of oppression under Saddam.
IRAQI NATIONAL ACCORD - The party of former interim Prime Minister
Iyad Allawi. Like Chalabi -- a relative -- Allawi is a secular Shi'ite
believed to harbour undimmed political aspirations. He has stressed the need
for unity in Iraq and reached out to Sunnis as well as Shi'ite religious
leaders to consolidate his support. He has backed the referendum, noting
that, unlike the Koran, a constitution can be modified.
IRAQI NATIONAL DIALOGUE - A coalition of Sunni political parties,
many of which boycotted the vote for the transitional government in January.
Sunni leaders fear the constitution will split Iraq and give an unfair share
of power and oil resources to Shi'ites and Kurds. But they have failed to
agree on how to oppose the document, with some groups advocating a boycott
to rob the vote of legitimacy, and others saying a massive Sunni "No" vote
was the only way to defeat it properly.
IRAQI ISLAMIC PARTY - The only Sunni opposition group that
participated in the political process before withdrawing from it before
January elections. The group urged Iraqis to vote "Yes" to the constitution
after reaching a deal this week with Kurdish and Shi'ite leaders to amend
some articles in the charter.
MUSLIM CLERICS' ASSOCIATION - An influential group of Sunni scholars
who hold sway over many Sunnis, especially in the western Anbar province,
heartland of the insurgency. Its leaders say the constitution threatens
Iraq's unity and Arab identity.
IRAQIS PARTY - A secular party led by Vice-President Ghazi al-Yawar,
Iraq's top-ranking Sunni politician. Yawar, named by the United States as
president in the former interim government in 2004, has expressed doubts
about the constitution, describing it as a Shi'ite and Kurdish plan "far
from the aspirations of all Iraqi people". But he appeared in a ceremony to
support the constitution after the last-minute changes to the text.
GRAND AYATOLLAH ALI AL-SISTANI - Iraq's most revered Shi'ite cleric
based in the holy city of Najaf. Sistani approved the formation of the
United Iraqi Alliance which scored best in the election in January.
Washington sees his support as crucial to moving its plans for Iraq forward.
Sistani called on Iraqis to adopt the constitution after some articles were
MOQTADA AL-SADR - The fiery Shi'ite cleric led two uprisings against
U.S. and British troops in 2004 and remains a fierce foe of foreign
involvement in Iraqi affairs. At first Sadr appeared to oppose the
constitution as a foreign imposition and in August 100,000 Sadr supporters
protested against the charter in rallies across Iraq. In recent weeks,
however, Sadr's position appears to have softened and he has not openly
called for a "No" vote.
IRAQI GUERRILLAS - Tens of thousands of Sunni Arab nationalists,
including diehard followers and agents of Saddam, as well as tribal leaders,
have taken up arms to combat U.S. occupation and assert Sunni minority power
against the new government. They reject the entire political process as an
American creation. In other respects, their political goals are similar to
those of hardline Sunni political leaders.
ISLAMIST MILITANTS - They include al Qaeda in Iraq and allied
groups, responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks. Iraqi officials say
foreign fighters number about 1,000. They have worked with local insurgents,
supplying, among other things, young Arabs from other countries willing to
die as suicide bombers. Qaeda spokesmen, accused by U.S. officials of
seeking to foment civil war in Iraq to thwart Washington, have issued
statements denouncing the constitution as un-Islamic and warned they will
attack polling stations on voting day.
October 14th, 2005  
Italian Guy
Thank you for this, Infidel. It sums things up and gives a clearer view of the political spectrum in Iraq. Do you guys on the ground have any expectations about the outcome based on what you hear and see?
October 14th, 2005  
Team Infidel
As long as the election is free of corruption and all of the Iraqis that wish to place a vote do so, then I am happy. As far as go or no go for passage of the document, i could care less. This ain't my country.
Where Iraqis stand on constitution
October 15th, 2005  
I hope it can pass, than the troops can get back to home earlier, and maybe they can eliminate the insurgency quickier.
October 15th, 2005  
Team Infidel
Amen to that