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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Regional press eye Iraq charter drama
Arabic Press

Newspapers in and around Iraq ponder the protracted negotiations over a new constitution, where a deadline is due to expire on Thursday night.

One Iraqi paper warns of the consequences if Sunnis do not sign up, but another believes the drafting of the constitution has been a failure.

The regional press has differing opinions over whether the new charter boosts the influence of Iran, or of the United States.

Baghdad edition of Al-Sharq al-Awsat

Today, Kurds and Shias will be mistaken if they do not offer constitutional guarantees to Sunnis. Without the Sunnis, the greater Iraq will end up splitting into marginal mini-states, at a time when they have a chance to build a larger integral nation.

Iraq's Al-Bayan

We call on all Iraqis not to miss the chance of approving the permanent constitution draft which will never be repeated. They should not make mistakes or get involved in obstruction or boycott bets, which already failed in previous elections.

Iraq's Al-Zaman

It will not be a big sacrifice to dissolve the National Assembly and acknowledge the failure of the constitution-drafting committee... Iraqis will not regret seeing this National Assembly dissolved. It cast no shadow on their land or souls... Please dissolve the Assembly and heave a sigh of relief, and do not cling to all that is fragile and dilapidated upon which to build the high and heavy cement constitution wall. Collapse will then be the inevitable end for all.

Jordan's Al-Dustur

The drafting of the Iraqi constitution is being publicized as a victory for democracy... However, it was simply a democratic experiment which should continue for a longer period and should include a larger number of representatives of the Iraqi people... The Iraqi constitution was drafted in a rush and was only a victory for the US Administration.

Iran's Jomhuri-ye Eslami

A strong point of Iraq's draft constitution is its reference to Islam being the source of all laws for the country. In order to implement this very important article of the constitution, the government of Iraq must be equipped with the suitable means. Needless to say, America and Britain will try to prevent the implementation of the article and Iraq's ulema will resist such devilish acts.

Pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The US Administration, which claims to be fighting Islamic fundamentalism... is now supporting an Iraqi constitution which is establishing a fundamentalist Islamic government in Baghdad. The US ambassador was the main force working behind this constitution... What kind of constitution is this when it is drafted by the ambassador of an occupying government?

Turkey's Sabah

If the prepared constitution is accepted, it will move towards a federalism in which the founding units have rather broad autonomy. In this federal structure, Shia Arabs will be dominant and the country's political structure will reflect the fundamentalist leanings of the Shia parties, which are closely connected with Iran.

Turkey's Milliyet

Even the approval of the constitution by parliament through consensus between the parties and the people in the referendum does not mean that the political structure in Iraq will take shape smoothly within this framework. On the contrary, Iraq could even be dragged into civil war and disintegration. In other words, this constitution might become "the mother of all battles" as well.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


Press alarm over Iraq federalism
13 Aug 05 |  Middle East

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