Iraqis went to the polls on Saturday, October 15, 2005, to vote in a referendum on the new Iraqi Constitution.
- "Initial Results From Iraq's Referendum," Associated Press (Yahoo! News), October 16, 2005.
- Juan Cole, "Peace in Iraq Still Elusive after Constitutional Referendum," Informed Comment, October 17, 2005: "Several of my knowledgeable readers are convinced that the Ninevah voting results as reported so far look like fraud. One suspected that the Iraqi government so feared a defeat there that they over-did the ballot stuffing and ended up with an implausible result."
- "Referendum turnout over 60pc in Iraq," Dawn, October 17, 2005: "Over 60 per cent of the 15.5 million Iraqi voters cast their ballots, according to early estimates, and the process was spared violence that marred elections in January."
- Glenn Kessler, "For U.S., a Hard Road Is Still Ahead in Iraq," Washington Post, October 17, 2005: "Sunni Arab voters appeared to have rejected the constitution by wide margins."
- Dexter Filkins, "Vote Totals Under Inquiry in 12 Iraqi Provinces, Panel Says," New York Times, October 17, 2005: "Iraqi election officials said today that they were investigating what they described as "unusually high" vote totals in 12 Shiite and Kurdish provinces, where as many 99 percent of the voters were reported to have cast ballots in favor of Iraq's new constitution, raising the possibility that the results of Saturday's referendum could be called into question."
- Lee Keath, "Iraqis Probe 'Unusually High' Yes Tally," Associated Press (Yahoo! News), October 18, 2005.
- Ivan Eland, "The Iraq Constitution: And They Call This Victory," Common Dreams, October 18, 2005.
- Mariam Fam, "Final Results From Iraq Referendum Delayed," Associated Press (Yahoo! News), October 19, 2005.
"Despite the Sunnis failing to support the document, Iraq's President decided to read the draft constitution to the fledgling country's transitional parliament anyway, with the goal of putting it to a national referendum in mid-October." 
"The draft was proposed by a Shi'a and Kurdish bloc within the parliamentary drafting committee. It was signed by the full committee ... after the inclusion of last-minute amendments aimed at appeasing Sunni Arabs," RFE/RL reported.
"Iraq's parliament then convened a special session to hear a reading of the draft charter.
"The session ended without a vote on the document. It is unclear whether a parliamentary vote is mandatory, but some Iraqi lawmakers suggest such a vote is needed to give the document political credibility."
"Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba said it is too early to say whether a formal split over the document is emerging within Iraq's Sunni community."
"The draft now faces a public referendum across Iraq on 15 October. It will be defeated if two-thirds of voters in any three provinces reject the charter. Sunnis control strong majorities in at least four Iraqi provinces. ... Kubba admitted that Iraq's Sunni community could block the draft constitution if it is unified behind a 'no' vote campaign." 
Iraqi Government in Violation of Own Interim Constitution
- The Iraqi government is violating its own interim constitution.
- "According to the interim constitution, the permanent constitution should have been presented to parliament and passed by August 15 . There should have been two readings of it, two days apart, before the vote. Otherwise, parliament should have been dissolved and new elections called. Parliament avoided this fate with a last-minute amendment of the interim constitution, allowed if by 3/4 vote, though the nicety of two readings of the amendment two days apart was dispensed with (arguably, unconstitutionally, though it is a relatively minor affair). The amendment stipulated that the new constitution would by passed by August 22, with other conditions unchanged.
- "The new constitution, with blank passages, was presented to parliament just before midnight on August 22. But parliament did not vote on it, and a 'three-day delay' was announced.
- "The rule of law is no longer operating in Iraq, and no pretence of constitutional procedure is being striven for. In essence, the prime minister and president have made a sort of coup, simply disregarding the interim constitution. Given the acquiescence of parliament and the absence of a supreme court (which should have been appointed by now but was not, also unconstitutionally), there is no check or balance that could question the writ of the executive.
Iraqi Constitution: Background
- Iraq Constitution: Constitutional Background 1979-2004.
- Timeline: A chronology of key events: Iraqi Kurds 1918-2005, BBC, last updated June 4, 2005.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Arab Spring
- Exit Strategy from Iraq
- Iraqi Governing Council
- Iraqi national elections
- Iraqi sovereignty: Exit Strategy from Iraq
- Iraqi sovereignty: June 30, 2004
- Iraqi Transitional Government / Iraqi Government.org
- Iraqi unified resistance
- new Iraq
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Year Three: Quagmire
- post-war Iraq
- Entire Text of Iraqi Constitution, March 8, 2004; posted on Command Post website.
- Text of Proposed Iraqi Constitution," Associated Press (Guardian/UK), August 23, 2005; another copy here.
Articles & Commentary
- Torrione Castle, "Will Shiites control the new Iraq?", Council on Foreign Relations, 2003.
- "The Blueprint for Building A New Iraq. Stability and Prosperity Linked to Free Markets, Democracy," Competitive Enterprise Institute Staff, April 15, 2003.
- Pamela Bone, "Women must have a voice in new Iraq. A good indicator of the quality of life in a country is the status of its women," The Age, April 19, 2003.
- Gretchen Cook, "Role of Women in New Iraq of Concern," WeNews, April 22, 2003.
- Peter Slevin and Colum Lynch, "Powell Suggests Six Month Timeline for New Iraqi Constitution," Washington Post Iraq Foundation, September 26, 2003.
- Michael Howard, "Kurds' faith in new Iraq fading fast," Guardian (UK), October 21, 2003.
- Alex Berenson, "Iraq's Shiites Insist on Democracy. Washington Cringes," New York Times, November 30, 2003.
- Tariq Ali, "The Same Old Racket in Iraq. To the Victors, the Spoils," CounterPunch, December 13/14, 2003.
- Op-Ed: "Inventing a New Iraq," New York Times, December 24, 2003: "Early in the new year, Iraqi leaders are supposed to agree on an interim constitution, the first benchmark in the Bush administration's plan for transferring power to a transitional Iraqi government by summer. But, as America's administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer III, reported to President Bush on Monday, Iraqis have still not reached an agreement on how that transitional government will be chosen or how power will be shared among the country's mutually suspicious religious and ethnic communities. These issues must be thrashed out in the coming weeks. Unless formulas can be found that satisfy Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, Washington will not leave behind a stable, democratic Iraq."
- "Iraqi officials agree on draft of constitution," Associated Press (USA Today), February 28, 2004.
- "New interim constitution for Iraq," CNN, March 8, 2004.
- Robin Wright, "White House Sends Senior Official to Iraq. Aim Is to Salvage Latest Bid to Form a Government," Washington Post, March 13, 2004: "The Bush administration has dispatched a [unnamed] senior White House official to Baghdad to rescue its already troubled new attempt to form an interim Iraqi government, the pivotal step in the political transition before the U.S.-led occupation ends on June 30 ... The mission is, in part, to persuade the 25-member Iraqi Governing Council to quit stalling on inviting the United Nations back, both to mediate a solution to the immediate crisis and to help prepare for elections after the United States leaves. Key Shiite leaders have broken with others on the Governing Council and are frustrating U.S. attempts to get the United Nations to return, U.S. officials and envoys of coalition."
- Nathan Newman, "Why US Occupation Continues after June," nathannewman.com, March 15, 2004: "Bush wants to claim that with the new Constitution passed, power will be turned over to Iraqis after June of this year. ... It's a lie. ... The new government under the new constitution will be barred from overturning any laws that the US has imposed on the country since the Occupation. ... Why can't they change them? ... Because of this provision in the Constitution, Article 26: Except as otherwise provided in this Law, the laws in force in Iraq on 30 June 2004 shall remain in effect unless and until rescinded or amended by the Iraqi Transitional Government in accordance with this Law. ... Note that the 'Iraqi Transitional Government' doesn't come into existence until new elections occur, which can be as late as December 2005--a long period to be governed by Paul Bremer's recently enacted pro-corporate laws."
- "Updates on Al-Sadr and Iraqi Constitution," Terrorism Unveiled, February 21, 2005.
- "Rice makes surprise visit to Iraq. U.S. secretary of state urges leaders to get constitution done," CNN, May 15, 2005.
- Nathan J. Brown, "Iraq’s Constitutional Process Plunges Ahead," LebanonWire.com, July 25, 2005.
- "Iraqi constitution panel to stay on U.S. timeline," Associated Press (Columbia Daily Tribune), August 1, 2005.
- Ellen Knickmeyer and Bassam Septi, "Iraqis Commit To Deadline for Drafting Charter," Washington Post, August 2, 2005.
- "Iraqi officials nearing constitution deadline," CNN, August 7, 2005.
- [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4148214.stm "Press alarm over Iraq federalism," BBC, August 13, 2005: "With the deadline for agreement on Iraq's draft constitution approaching fast, the Arabic press expresses concern at a call from a senior Shia leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, for an autonomous Shia region in the south. ... Many papers warn that such calls - made in response to the achievement of greater autonomy by Iraq's Kurdish community - can only lead to the eventual break-up of the country."
- Peter Grier, "Expectations for Iraq downshifting. Administration downplays missed deadline for Iraqi constitution, but political progress is coming slowly," Christian Science Monitor, August 17, 2005.
- Dan Murphy, "In one week can Iraq resolve its constitutional divisions? The delegation writing the draft charter now has until Aug. 22 to overcome issues of Islam and federalism," Christian Science Monitor, August 17, 2005.
- Gary Leupp, "A Constitutional Pandora's Box. The Myth of a 'Free and Democratic' Iraq," CounterPunch, August 19, 2005.
- Juan Cole, "Coup in Baghdad: Unfinished Constitution Presented, vote Delayed," Informed Consent, August 22, 2005.
- Dan Murphy, "Does it matter if you call it a civil war? Iraq's constitution could be seen as a draft 'peace pact' for warring parties," Christian Science Monitor, August 22, 2005.
- Edmund Sanders and Ashraf Khalil, "Sunnis Call for Delay in Charter. Seeking U.S. and U.N. intervention, the group says it has been excluded by Shiites and Kurds from closing efforts to draft Iraq's constitution," Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2005.
- Roger Hardy, "An Islamic Republic of Iraq?" BBC, August 23, 2005.
- Dexter Filkins and James Glanz, "Iraq's Assembly Is Given Charter, Still Unfinished," New York Times, August 23, 2005.
- Catherine Philp, "Sunnis threaten civil war as Iraq constitution deadline extended," Times Online (London), August 23, 2005.
- Juan Cole, "Coup in Baghdad. Unfinished Constitution Presented, vote Delayed," Informed Comment, August 23, 2005.
- Ellen Knickmeyer, "Iraqi Leaders Draft Constitution. Sunnis Unlikely to Support Proposed Charter," Washington Post, August 23, 2005.
- Ellen Knickmeyer and Jonathan Finer, "Iraqis Submit Charter, but Delay Vote. Shiite-Kurd Coalition Agrees to Negotiate With Sunnis, Who Threaten Revolt," Washington Post, August 23, 2005.
- Dan Murphy and Jill Carroll, "Iraq's draft constitution delayed - again. Just before the midnight deadline, negotiators pulled the draft saying they need three more days to resolve major disputes," Christian Science Monitor, August 23, 2005.
- Dan Murphy and Jill Carroll, "Why Iraq's Sunnis fear constitution. Parliament is likely to approve the constitution by Thursday's deadline, despite Sunni objections," Christian Science Monitor, August 24, 2005.
- Hannah Allam and Mohammed al Dulaimy, "One day before crucial vote, fighting breaks out in Najaf," Knight Ridder Newspapers, August 24, 2005.
- Kirk Semple, "A Constitution? Iraqis Are Thinking About Their Lives First," New York Times, August 24, 2005.
- "Iraq constitution: Sticking points. Politicians from Iraq's main ethnic groups are edging towards finalising the wording of the country's draft constitution," BBC, August 25, 2005.
- "Regional press eye Iraq charter drama," BBC, August 25, 2005.
- Philip Bobbit, "How to ruin a milestone constitution. Iraq will learn that there can be no representation without taxation," Guardian (UK), August 25, 2005.
- Dexter Filkins, "Iraqi Constitution Talks Falter; Shiites Threaten to Bypass Sunnis," New York Times, August 25, 2005.
- Qassim Abdul-Zahra, "Iraq Lawmakers Won't Meet on Constitution," Associated Press (Guardian/UK), August 25, 2005.
- Bassem Mroue, "Iraqis Miss Third Constitution Deadline," Associated Press (Yahoo! News), August 25, 2005.
- Qassim Abdul-Zahra, "Iraqi legislators plan no meeting despite deadline. Negotiators seeking consensus on constitution had imposed midnight target," Associated Press (Baltimore Sun), August 25, 2005.
- Mariam Karouny, "Iraq constitution talks go on, head for referendum," Reuters, August 25, 2005.
- Andrew Hammond, "Iraq Secularists Denounce 'Islamist' Constitution," Reuters (Common Dreams), August 25, 2005.
- Kim Sengupta, "US Sends More Combat Troops to Iraq Ahead of Referendum," Guardian (UK) (Common Dreams), August 25, 2005.
- Charles Recknagel, "Efforts Under Way To Complete Draft Constitution As Tensions Rise," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 25, 2005.
- Edmund Sanders, "Islamic Slant in Charter Decried. Iraqi secularists fear that religious hard-liners will gain strength, and rights may erode, from the draft constitution's endorsement of Islam," Los Angeles Times, August 25, 2005.
- The Harris Poll: "U.S. Pessimism About Iraq Keeps Rising, Poll Shows," Wall Street Journal Online, August 25, 2005.
- Robin Wright, "Constitution Sparks Debate on Viability," Washington Post, August 25, 2005.
- Ashraf Khalil and Edmund Sanders, "Iraqis Fail Yet Again to Agree on Charter," Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2005.
- Wesley Kanne Clark, "Before It's Too Late in Iraq," Washington Post, August 26, 2005.
- Howard LaFranchi, "Why Iraq may not get a bounce from constitution. Drafting the document largely behind closed doors means many feel a lack of 'ownership'," Christian Science Monitor, August 26, 2005.
- David Ignatius, "Playing The Shiite Card," Washington Post, August 26, 2005.
- Qassim Abdul-Zahra, "Shiites Offer Compromise on Constitution," Associated Press (Yahoo! News), August 26, 2005.
- Gordon Corera, "Iraqi charter and the insurgency," BBC, August 26, 2005.
- "Iraq struggles for charter deal," BBC, August 26, 2005.
- "Sunnis rally against Iraq charter," BBC, August 26, 2005.
- Jill Carroll, "Iraq's Shiites split violently. Moqtada al-Sadr's militia clashed with Badr fighters, revealing a Shiite divide over the new draft charter," Christian Science Monitor, August 26, 2005.
- Michael Georgy, "One hundred thousand Shi'ites protest Iraq charter," Reuters (Yahoo! News), August 26, 2005. Video link on page showing thousands marching in protest.
- Charles Recknagel, "Constitution Debate Continues For At Least Another Day Amid New Disputes," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 26, 2005.
- Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Noam M. Levey, "Unyielding Sunnis May Be Overruled," Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005.
- "Iraq Charter Strife Hurts U.S. Strategy. Bush was counting on a consensual process for a new constitution, but the increasing discord is sinking hopes for peace," Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005.
- Slobodan Lekic, "Parliament Set to Accept Iraq Constitution," Associated Press, August 28, 2005.
- "Iraqi Draft Constitution Finalized, Despite Some Sunni Objections," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 28, 2005.
- Jon Brain, "What next for Iraq's new charter?" BBC, August 28, 2005.
- Steven R. Weisman, "Bush administration searches for silver lining in Iraq. Meeting a goal in another country is difficult when no one can predict what happens next," New York Times (Houston Chronicle), August 28, 2005: "Several administration officials acknowledged deep regret and frustration that all their efforts had failed to produce a document that could not only establish human rights but also bring a huge disaffected element into the political process, as the Americans had hoped and predicted."
- Billmon, "The Philadelphia Experiment," Whiskey Bar, August 28, 2005.
- Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, "Fiddling while Baghdad burns. Iraqis need time and patience to come up with the right constitution. First we must stop the civil war," Guardian (UK), August 28, 2005.
- "Sunni leaders reject Iraq's draft constitution," The World Today (Australia), August 29, 2005.
- "Iraq charter a 'recipe for chaos'. Sunnis, once dominant, refused to endorse the text. Parts of the Iraqi draft constitution are a 'recipe for chaos', Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa has said," BBC, August 29, 2005.
- Laith al-Saud, "Iraq's Constitutional Process. Circus in Baghdad," CounterPunch, August 27/28, 2005.
- "Iraqi Constitution Dangerously Short of US Goals: Experts," Agence France Presse (Common Dreams), August 30, 2005.
- Robert Scheer, "Iraq's fig leaf constitution," Los Angeles Times, August 30, 2005.
- Aaron Glantz, "A Revealing Look at Iraq’s Constitution," Common Dreams, August 31, 2005.
- Mariam Karouny, "Iraq charter update fails as U.S. fights in north," Reuters, September 6, 2005.
- Herbert Docena, "Iraq’s Neoliberal Constitution," Global Politician, September 8, 2005.