March 01, 2004

Good News from Iraq

On the constitution-building front:

"The country's 25-member, U.S.-appointed Governing Council reached consensus on the 63rd and final article of the document at 4:20 a.m. local time, after more than 10 hours of almost nonstop negotiations mediated by the American administrator of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, people involved in the meeting said.

"It's a historic document," said Faisal Istrabadi, one of the lead drafters and a senior aide to council member Adnan Pachachi. "Every single article, and each subparagraph, had the consensus of all 25 people in the room. . . . In the best tradition of democracies -- granted, we are an aspiring democracy -- we all compromised."

The document, which will provide a legal framework for Iraq until elections are held and a permanent constitution is drafted, grants broad protections for individual rights, guaranteeing freedom of speech, assembly and religion, and other liberties long denied by the Baath Party government of former president Saddam Hussein. In an unprecedented step toward gender equality in the Arab world, the document sets aside 25 percent of the seats in the provisional legislature for women, council aides said."

And more good news on the oil production and electricity generation fronts.

Posted by Gregory at March 1, 2004 12:32 PM
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