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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Iraq constitution approved: Your views
Iraqi man casts his ballot for constitution in Baghdad
Iraq has approved the country's draft constitution, electoral officials have said.

In total, 78% of voters favoured the constitution. Only two out of 18 provinces in the country recorded "No" votes.

The constitution was strongly supported by members of Iraq's Shia and Kurdish communities, while many Sunni Arabs had opposed the document.

What does the new constitution mean for the future of Iraq? Will it help calm the violence? Are you an Iraqi and, if so, what do you think? Send us your comments and experiences.

The following comments reflect the balance of views received:

Congratulations to the Iraqis - democracy is the truth path to peace
Jim, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA
Congratulations to the Iraqis - democracy is the truth path to peace.
Jim, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA

I think there will be three things that will have a major effect on Iraq's future. First, acceptance in the Sunni-dominated areas of the elected government. Like it or not, they are in the minority and in any free election they're going to have lesser representation (unless they see themselves mainly as Iraqi, not Sunni). Second, the ability of foreign forces to leave. They may have to stay there for security if the future violence is sectarian, but staying also keeps them as attractive targets as well. Third, willingness of the world (not just the "coalition") to help this nascent government succeed.
Keenan, Manchester, US

It's impossible to tell now what the constitution will mean. It only just avoided defeat and that is a worrying context. The constitution will probably do little to stem the tide of violence in Iraq by itself. Many external factors (not least of which is how long the occupation will continue) will have an influence on how the constitution works, because it is only when security is restored that the constitution will have any real impact. It is irrelevant what the constitution says if lawlessness prevails.
Stephen Porter, UK

So what? It is not going to change the situation anyway. As long as the occupation forces remain in Iraq and the Sunni people feel isolated, the insurgency and fighting will continue!
Srinivasan Toft, Denmark

With so many Sunnis unhappy with their nation's most essential document, I don't see the insurgency scaling back in any way
Josh, Ames, IA, United States
It's a positive sign to see so many Iraqis continue to take advantage of the new government. However, it is a great concern that so many Sunni Arabs voted against the draft of the constitution. With so many Sunnis unhappy with their nation's most essential document, I don't see the insurgency scaling back in any way.
Josh, Ames, IA, United States

I am an Assyrian with family in both Iran and Iraq and I feel the newly ratified constitution will not only deepen the ethnic and religious divisions of the country, but it will greatly weaken the Assyrian voice in Iraq. While the constitution does allow the teaching of our language in schools across Iraq (primarily northern Iraq), it does not fully guarantee our freedoms as a non-Arab, non-Muslim entity. It is ironic that certain Iraqi leaders have suggested that the new constitution will bring the nation's minorities together. In reality, the nation will split up into at least two separate states in the future. We can thank the newly ratified constitution for expediting this reality.
Ramond Takhsh, Berkeley, CA

They sure have taken their time announcing election results and knowing a yes vote is almost life or death to President Bush right now, I have to wonder about election fraud.
David, Portland, USA

I think many Sunni Iraqis will doubt the result (my bet is there were irregularities en masse) and see themselves (rightfully) as the losers anyway. Shia Iraqis and Kurds will see it as a victory and at least partially as a first step to real independence. A failure may have bought some time for a real compromise, although I doubt that. The success will probably polarise the factions even more or be at best neutral.
Hartmut, Berlin, Germany

Frankly, the nature of the constitution troubles me. That it holds Islamic law on equal footing with democracy seems like a time-bomb in regards to civil rights for women and other less powerful groups in Iraq.
John, Detroit, USA

I'm happy about this outcome. Now I hope that those who rejected the constitution can accept the result and decide to get involved in the political process. I hope that the Islamic Party and other Sunni political forces can unite the people of Anbar province toward a political, and not a violent, future.
Andrea Baucero, Milano, Italy

These events show that the Iraqis have demonstrated, once again, that democracy is a slow and cumbersome process to implement, while the Americans are, once again, willing to work with those that have the patience to see it through. We should not forget that Western Europeans and Americans shared this same partnership no less than 60 years ago...and it has endured. Maybe we should regard Bush as a visionary... history will show.
S L, Arlington, USA

The charter will not achieve anything but further division in Iraq. The country is split into two camps - Kurds and Shia on one side (dominating the police and army, assisting the US/UK forces) and Sunnis on the other who are under-represented in the police and army and also the vast majority of the insurgency. Many Iraqis still live in fear if daily kidnap, murder and robbery. Iraq is in a civil war and this charter will not make things better, only worse.
Rizwana Dar, Enfield, United Kingdom

The Constitution that has been approved was made by and for Kurds and Shias. To appear to let the Sunnis have a say, they set difficult rules that they knew would be nearly impossible to reach for the enemies of the constitution. The risk is now a split of Iraq. Kurds will want to elect Kurds, Shias will want to be represented by Shias and Sunnis by Sunnis. Is this a real democracy when people choose their representatives for their origins and religions rather than political aspirations?
Pascal Jacquemain, Welwyn Garden City, UK

A sure shot recipe for disaster and the disintegration of Iraq. The constitution was approved by the sheer majority of the Shias and Kurds. This is going to make the Sunnis more alienated and drive a wedge between the communities. It will be a long time before Iraq sees peace and harmony again.
Santokh Randhawa, Sydney, Australia

Certainly this new constitution is a cry out in the midst of all the violence for peace and a look into the future. A better future. Many would say a wrong decision better than none. And I think it applies in this case. But I have many reservations regarding the newly approved constitution. Many articles and the way they have been "worded" are going to bring confusion and perplexity in the near upcoming period, especially regarding women's rights, human rights, the ethnical diversity of Iraq and most important, the separation of religion and state. Add to this, the fact that it's a new experience for Iraq, if not to all of the region, and it's foreseeable that there will be a need to re-write it.
Mansoor Ahmed, London, UK

I live in the US - and even I feel that this is a sham election set up by a foreign aggressor in order to establish a puppet regime.
Steve, Hoboken, USA

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