Leader: Iraqi Sunnis voted against charter

Oct. 16, 2005 at 12:14 PM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- An Iraqi Sunni Arab leader said Sunday Iraqis in four provinces voted against the draft constitution in Saturday's national referendum.

Secretary-General of the Iraqi Islamic Conference, Abdul Latif al-Humaim, told United Press International in the Jordanian capital, Amman, that Iraqis in al-Anbar, Salaheddine, Diala and Ninawa voted "no" to the draft constitution.

Al-Humaim, on a visit to Jordan, said his organization delivered a letter to U.N. envoy in Iraq, Ashraf al-Kadi, expressing concern over the "possibility of fraud, especially with the delay in announcing the results of the referendum" in the predominantly Sunnis provinces.

He said he urged the U.N. to interfere and monitor the counting of ballots.

He added there was a high voter turnout of Sunni Arabs and that most of the districts in Baghdad participated in the referendum on the draft charter.

According to Iraqi law, if three provinces vote against the constitution, the charter will be immediately dropped, the government will resign and the country will be administered by the National Assembly.

The final results of the vote are due to be announced on Oct. 24.

Iraqi elections officials said about 60 percent of the 15.5 million eligible voters cast their "yes" or "no" ballots amid very tight security and relative calm.

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