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Commentary :: Politics
BTL:Accusations of Fraud and Uncertainty for the Future Surround Vote on...
21 Oct 2005
..Iraqi Constitution ~ Interview with Hussein Ibish, executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American leadership, conducted by Between the the Lines' Scott Harris
Accusations of Fraud and Uncertainty for the Future Surround Vote on Iraqi Constitution

Interview with Hussein Ibish, executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American leadership, conducted by Scott Harris

The Oct. 15 referendum on Iraq's proposed constitution went forward with a lower level of violence than predicted. Despite a recent escalation of attacks by anti-occupation insurgents, there were relatively few strikes on military and civilian targets on the day of the Iraqi election. After hearing initial reports that voter participation may have been higher than last January's legislative election and the failure of opponents to defeat approval of the constitution, President Bush praised the vote as a sign that Iraqis want to settle their disputes peacefully.

But after two days of counting ballots, the Independent Election Commission of Iraq said that they were investigating unusually high vote totals in 12 Shiite and Kurdish provinces, where in some cases 99 percent of the votes were cast in favor of the draft constitution. Prominent leaders of Iraq's Sunni minority, who largely opposed the constitution, were quick to assert that the irregular vote tally may indicate fraud -- calling into question the referendum's credibility.

Despite last minute negotiations to appease the Sunni voters by offering a chance to amend the constitution at a later date, early election results show most Sunnis opposed the charter. One of the most contentious provisions of the document on the minds of opponents was a fear that the sanction of autonomous zones in the oil-rich Kurdish north and a similar zone in the Shiite south would lead to a break-up of the nation. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Hussein Ibish, executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership. He discusses the results of Iraq's constitutional referendum and how it may affect the war and the timetable for U.S. withdrawal.

Contact the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership by visiting their website at:

Related links:

"Government Accused of Death Squads in Iraq," by Sinan Salaheddin, The Associated Press; Oct. 7, 2005

Middle East Report website

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2005 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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