Doing the Do-Over Over

From Holden:

Under intense pressure from the UN for a last minute change that gave the word “vote” two different definitions within the same passage, the Iraqi Parliament rolled back its Sunday change in the way the Transitional Consitution is interpretted with regard to the upcoming constitutional referendum.

Iraq’s National Assembly voted on Wednesday to reverse last-minute changes it had made to rules for next week’s referendum on a new constitution following criticism by the United Nations that the rules were unfair to the Sunni minority.

After a brief debate, the Assembly voted 119-28 to restore the original voting rules for the referendum, which will take place Oct. 15. Washington hopes a majority “yes” vote in the referendum will unite Iraq’s disparate factions and erode support for the country’s bloody insurgency.


The original rules, now restored, mean that Sunnis can veto the constitution by getting a two-thirds “no” vote in three provinces, even if the charter wins majority approval nationwide. Sunni Arabs are dominant in four of the 18 provinces.