KURDS: Federalism first

Kutschera, Chris
June 2003
Middle East;Jun2003, Issue 335, p20
The article focuses on the reconstruction of Iraq after the end of the war between Iraq and the U.S. The Kurds put forward a draft constitution for the reconstruction. The main issue, for the Kurds, is their status in the future Iraq. The Kurdish political parties conceive only one solution: federalism. "Now we are independent, and we are asking for reunification. Federation is the only solution," claims the PUK's Berham Saleh. Written by Kurdish constitutional law experts, the document lays down very clearly the relations foreseen between the Kurdish region and the central government. Item one of the text, General Principles of Federalism for Iraq, declares: "Iraq is a federal state with a republican, democratic, parliamentarian and multi-party system called the Federal Republic of Iraq." The proposed Iraqi Kurdistan region includes the provinces of Kirkuk, Suleimania and Erbil, within the administrative boundaries in place prior to 1968, and the province of Dohuk, the sub-district of Zimar in the province of Nineveh, the districts of Khanakin and Mandili in the province of Diyala, and the district of Badra in the province of Al Wash. But most Kurdish leaders are convinced the majority of the Arab population of Iraq, yielding to nationalistic feelings, would reject a federal constitution.


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