The Jennings blog has moved!

As of October 1, 2011 the Jennings Project blog has moved and joined forces with Constitution Daily, the Center’s daily digest of smart conversation on the Constitution. All new posts will be published there, so be sure to subscribe and follow Constitution Daily on Twitter. If you are interested in submitting a post to Constitution Daily, please email Stefan Frank at

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

UPDATE: Obama's Two-Front Dilemma

This past weekend, the Obama administration scored a victory in Iraq when it helped broker a deal over political divisions in the northern province of Kirkuk. As described in our post “Obama’s Two Front Dilemma” below, the debate over Kirkuk appeared to be putting Iraq on the path to a constitutional crisis and threatened the planned draw-down of American troops there as well as their re-deployment to Afghanistan. The Iraqi constitution requires that a new election be held before the end of January, 2010, but the questions over who could vote and what choices would be offered to voters had created a stalemate over Kirkuk.

Arabs and Turkmens in Kirkuk argued for following voter registration lists from five years ago, while Kurds pushed to adopt voter rolls from 2009 which reflected the larger numbers of Kurds who had moved back to Kirkuk since the fall of Sadaam Hussein. The agreement was to use the 2009 list, while allowing the United Nations to conduct a post-election in depth study of any claim of fraud over the validity of the new voters.

In a key sign of Iraqi political maturity and stability, the election will also permit voters to pick from individual office-seekers. In the past, voters could only choose from a list of ethnically-defined parties. Upon victory, the party leadership would then choose who would get to hold the office. In the war-torn Iraq of 2004-2005 that protected the candidates from being targeted for assassination by insurgents, but severely limited the exercise of democracy.

No comments:

Post a Comment