Iraq ratifies new constitution

The Iraqi people’s approval of the country’s draft constitution after a referendum has been hailed, with a sigh of relief, by the international community in the face of growing global opposition to the American presence in the country. According to a new poll, the majority of Americans now feel the Iraq war was wrong.

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By  David Robinson Published  October 30, 2005

The Iraqi people’s approval of the country’s draft constitution after a referendum has been hailed, with a sigh of relief, by the international community in the face of growing global opposition to the American presence in the country. According to a new poll, the majority of Americans now feel the Iraq war was wrong. After the Iraqi charter was ratified last week, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on all Iraqis to participate in the upcoming election to build a democratic and united Iraq. “The Iraqi people have made their decision and have approved the draft constitution,” Annan said in a statement, saying the historic event would mark a milestone on Iraq’s path to democracy. Sunni “No” campaigners had hoped to block the constitution by taking two-thirds of the vote in at least three provinces, in line with electoral rules. But they won in only two, with the swing province of Nineveh returning 44% “Yes” votes, the official count showed. In all, 78% of voters backed the charter and 21% opposed it in the vote on 15 October. Approval of the constitution clears the way for elections to a new Iraqi parliament in December. The majority Shia community and Kurds strongly supported the constitution while the provinces where the poll was rejected by more than two-thirds of voters, Anbar and Salahuddin, are both strongly Sunni. US president George W. Bush hailed the approval of Iraq’s constitution and warned that winning the Iraq war would require more sacrifices. “With their courageous vote, the Iraqi people have once again proved their determination to build a democracy united against extremism and violence,” Bush said in a speech to military families at Bolling Air Force Base. With the US military death toll in Iraq poised to surpass 2000, Bush rejected growing calls for a US withdrawal by saying this would give Islamic extremists like Osama Bin Laden a base for strikes at Europe, the United States and Israel. “This war will require more sacrifice, more time and more resolve,” he said. “The best way to honour the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission.” However, a new poll showed that the majority of Americans now feel the Iraq war was wrong. According to a poll published in The Wall Street Journal, the majority of Americans now believe the Iraq war was the “wrong thing to do”, marking the first time a majority have felt this way since the polls began. Fifty-three percent of those asked felt that taking military action against Iraq was wrong, as opposed to 34%, who thought it was right. A large portion, or 44%, felt the situation for US troops in Iraq was getting worse; compared with only 19% who thought it was improving. President Bush’s handling of the war received poor marks, with 66% saying he is doing a “poor” or “only fair” job of handling Iraq.

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