Iraq Referendum Blues

First they flipped, and then they flopped

Gwynne Dyer
Published: Wednesday, 10/12/2005 12:00 am EDT

Last week, the Shia Arab and Kurdish parties that dominate the transitional government of Iraq tried to rig the outcome in the constitutional referendum on Oct. 15 by sabotaging the voting in the four provinces where Sunni Arabs are the majority. The original voting rules said that if three of those four provinces voted against the new constitution by a two-thirds majority, it would fail. Instead, the ruling Shias and Kurds declared that it would pass unless two-thirds of all the registered voters in those provinces -- and not just two-thirds of the people who actually voted -- rejected it.

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