Iraqi draft constitution is finally adopted

Iraqi landmark constitution was adopted by a majority of voters during the country's Oct. 15 referendum, election officials declared Tuesday.

Results released by the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq showed that Sunni Arabs, who had sharply opposed the draft document, failed to produce the three-quarters "no" vote they would have needed in at least three of Iraq's 16 provinces to defeat it.

The commission, which had been auditing the referendum results for 10 days, said at a news conference in Baghdad that Ninevah province, had produced a "no" vote of only 55 percent. Only two other mostly Sunni Arab provinces - Salahuddin and Anbar - had voted no by two-thirds or more.

The constitution, which many Kurds and majority Shiites strongly support, is considered another major step in the country's democratic transformation, clearing the way for the election of a new Iraqi parliament on Dec. 15. Such steps are considered important in any decision about the future withdrawal of U.S.-led forces from Iraq, the AP reports.


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