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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Iraq constitution gets mixed press
Arabic Press

The announcement of the final results of Iraq's constitutional referendum is greeted with a mixture of satisfaction and scepticism in the region's press.

Several Iraqi papers hail the results as a blow to terror and a milestone in the development of democracy.

An Iranian paper welcomes the outcome as a step towards stability, while other commentators are heartened by the increase in Sunni participation in the political process.

Some, however, contend that the vote was rigged or fear that the new constitution will cause Iraq to disintegrate.

Commentary in Iraq's Al-Adalah

The Independent Electoral Commission announced not only the referendum results but also the victory of the Iraqi people over terrorists, who felt despair, frustration and defeat when they saw people heading to the ballot boxes in droves, defying their threats. The success of the constitutional process has dealt a telling blow to terror.

Editorial in Iraq's Al-Bayan

Iraq has embarked on a new, important stage in its history with the approval of the permanent constitution in a democratic process whose fairness is confirmed by all. What matters is that everyone went to the ballot box and trusted the results, out of a belief in the need for the political process to go on.

Article in Iraq's Al-Mu'tamar

The majority of Iraqis believe in supporting the political process and approving the constitution... despite its shortcomings.

Editorial in Iran's Al-Vefagh

By ratifying the constitution, Iraq has taken a decisive step towards stability.

Report in Iran's Keyhan International

The long-suffering majority Shia community and Kurds strongly supported the constitution and deserve credit for staying the course... In the end despite all the bombs, drive-by shootings and kidnappings against the civilian Iraqi population, justice has prevailed for all of Iraq, be it Sunni, Shia or Kurd; and the world community eagerly waits their united voice.

Editorial in Saudi Arab News

One notable factor in this latest vote is the number of Sunnis who decided to take part... There is still a long way to go and the terrorists are far from defeated, but yesterday the decent, peace-loving people of Iraq clearly notched up another victory.

Commentary in Israel's Jerusalem Post

So, what will change as a result of the passing of the constitution? ... While the mostly Sunni-fuelled insurgency will not be one of them, the high Sunni participation in the referendum will likely give Sunni political leaders a boost to participate with less fear in the upcoming elections. Moreover, the document serves at least as some sort of basis from which the Iraqis can move forward.

Editorial in London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The announcement of the Iraqi constitution referendum results has given rise to suspicion and confirmed the doubts of many that rigging was carried out by the US administration and the Shia-Kurdish alliance, which is ruling Baghdad on its behalf.

Commentary in London-based Al-Arab al-Alamiyah

Anyone who thinks that the referendum on the so-called Iraqi draft constitution... was a fair democratic exercise is wrong, as rigging was obvious and there were no signs of democracy.

Commentary in Lebanon's Al-Mustaqbal

Given the present situation in Iraq, what is needed now is to reconstruct the nation, not to fragment it by imposing federalism.

Commentary in Turkey's Sabah

Realistic observers agree this constitution will first drag Iraq into a civil war like Lebanon's and then cause it to disintegrate like Yugoslavia.

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.




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