There were scenes of celebrations in Baghdad after Iraq’s leaders amended a draft constitution to make it more palatable to Sunni Arabs, just two days before it goes to the polls.
But many minority Sunnis rejected the compromise and insurgents struck again, killing some 30 people in the second suicide bombing in two days in the northern town of Tal Afar. Wording has been added to emphasise the unity of Iraq and the status of Arabic as an official language in Kurdistan. The assembly will also set up a committee to review the charter. Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and has urged Iraqis to vote “yes”. And one prominent Sunni political party is urging its supporters to approve the document. But many Sunni groups, including the Iraqi Council of National Dialogue, are still firmly opposed. They claim the constitution will fragment the country, allowing Kurds and Shi’ites to control the oil resources of the north and south, while they are left with nothing. The charter has already been distributed so the only way the changes can be announced is through the media.