Iraq’s draft constitution should be evaluated on two standards: its ability to turn Iraq into a real democracy and its potential to maintain Iraqis together and to undermine insurgency. It met the first test and it will face the second when Iraqis vote in the October 15 referendum.
The constitutional draft enshrines values and structures that should aid in the democratization of the country, its stabilization, starting from universal values and the Iraqi tradition. Thanks to this text, all Iraqis are equal before the law and have all their rights guaranteed. It protects the rights of personal privacy, the freedom of movement, expression and association. It also states that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty. It also states that women should hold no less than 25% of seats in the legislature. Like in Israel, the debate between religious and civil law is not solved in this constitutional draft.
The structure of the government allows to support the democratic transition and can help in building bridges among communities. The status of the Kurdistan will not evolve until the election of the Assembly. The process of drafting the constitution already created bridges among communities and the United States will continue to encourage Iraqis to unite.
“Politics Breaks Out In Iraq”, by Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington Post, September 5, 2005.