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Post-Election Iraq: Facing the Constitutional Challenge

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Publication Date: February 2005

Publisher(s): Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Author(s): Nathan Brown

Funder(s): Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Funder(s): Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Topic: Politics (Political status)

Type: Brief

Coverage: Iraq

Abstract:

Iraq's newly elected National Assembly (NA) will soon take up its major task--although hardly its only one--of drafting a permanent constitution. The task is to be completed in time to submit the draft constitution to a national plebiscite by October 15, 2005. Constitutions are rarely written during calm times. Countries rarely feel any pressure to redesign their basic institutions unless they are confronting crisis. There are some exceptions, of course--in fact, one of the major obstacles to the development of constitutionalism in the Arab world is that constitutions were written under conditions of insufficient turmoil.