Iraqis voted again

Saw the 'breaking news' last night on SBS, at first I wasn't sure if it was for real, the demeanour of the presenter was like he was bringing us bad news, I had to listen carefully to understand the gravity of this development.

I suppose I'm being foolish to expect any positives from them, if the US Army had decided to leave because of the '2000 dead' milestone, there would have been a party in the newsroom, champagne would flow, "We told you it was too difficult, screw you Iraqis, Allah Akbar".

Iraqis have passed their country's new constitution, according to official results from a referendum dismissed by the opposition but commended by the UN.

78% of voters backed the charter and 21% opposed it in the vote on 15 October, electoral commission officials said. Approval of the constitution clears the way for elections to a new Iraqi parliament in December.

Sunni figures talked of widespread fraud after hearing the final results. Saleh al-Mutlaq, part of a Sunni Arab team that negotiated the constitution, called the referendum a "farce" and accused government forces of stealing ballot boxes to reduce the size of the "No" vote.

A large body of Sunnis rejected a constitution they saw as enshrining their own loss of power and threatening the territorial unity of the country, BBC regional analyst Roger Hardy writes.

To recover from the pain and division associated with the constitution, our analyst adds, continued Sunni participation in the political process is not enough: there must also be enlightened self-interest on the part of the newly-dominant Shia and Kurds.

He means appease and bend over to the terrorists, to placate them you see, just like they have us doing in the west.

A senior United Nations official in Iraq, Carina Perelli, said the election had been conducted to the highest standard. "It has been audited, controlled - it has been done really in a very professional way," she said.

"The result is accurate. It has been checked according to the processes that we all follow when we have elections."

None of this would have been possible if not for the sacrifice of the soldiers in Iraq. God bless them and their families.

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