Sunnis want constitution to be only changed under referendum; strict majority
Iraq-USA, Politics, 10/1/2005
The American ambassador in Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad started what can be called as last moment negotiations with the Shiite and the Kurds with the aim to amend the draft constitution to ensure the support of the Arab Sunni in the referendum, weeks before it is held.
The chairman of the constitutional committee Humam Hammoudi, a member of the Shiite coalition list, said that a delegation representing the American embassy discussed the paper of proposals given by the Arab Sunni to the Kurdish sides during a visit to Kurdistan area.
He indicated the main points included in the paper are first: that Iraq to be one united country and the constitution to preserve this unity. Second: confirming the use of the Arabic language in Kurdistan. Third: the constitution to be only changed by a referendum, rather than getting two thirds of the votes of the parliament. Worth noting, that in the US, a wide and very diverse country politically, a change of the constitution is very difficult, to ensure that the principals in it are well protected.
Hammoudi explained that the last ( third) point is rejected and leads to the destabilization of the country, but he said that his coalition does not oppose adding article one and two if they are agreed and reading them in the national society.
The Arab Sunni oppose mentioning the principle of the federalism in the constitution and consider it a danger that will be conducive to partitioning the country.
In the same context, a high ranking Kurdish official said on Friday that the oil exploration agreements in north Iraq will be negotiated upon with the central Iraqi government and the regional Kurdish government if the permanent constitution is approved in the referendum to be carried out on the mid of October.
However, the prime minister of the regional Kurdish government Omar Fattah said in a press statement following an Iraqi- Singapore work forum that the regional government will have control on the production in the district of Kurdistan and on exports abroad.
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