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Partial Iraqi constitution referendum results point towards charter approval

[JURIST] Iraqi election officials Saturday announced partial results of the country's October 15 constitutional referendum [JURIST report] that pointed towards approval of the draft charter [JURIST news archive] in the final count. Figures based on half the returns in 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces suggested that the document had been approved there by majorities of between 51 and 98 percent; in Sunni-dominated Salahuddin province [Wikipedia backgrounder], the home of Saddam Hussein's family, 81.15% of ballots rejected the constitution, which is also believed to have failed in violence-wracked Anbar province, for which no figures were cited. Under the referendum rules, the draft comstitution will fail if it is rejected by two-thirds of voters in at least three provinces. In Diyala [Wikipedia backgrounder], a "swing" province with a mixed population, the charter now appears to have been very narrowly approved (51%) after initial reports of an approval rating of some 70%, but even there the revised proportion of "no" votes seems far less than the two-thirds required to reject. Voting appeared generally to be very much along ethnic lines across the country, with eight Shiite provinces registering 95%+ approval votes, and the two Kurdish provinces of Sulaimaniyah and Dohuk voting "yes" by more than 98 percent. The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq [official website] has issued a press release [PDF]. Scotland on Sunday has more; the Chicago Tribune provides additional coverage.

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