Saddam to be allowed to vote in Iraqi referendum
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will be entitled to participate in Iraq's upcoming nationwide referendum in which Iraqis will vote "yes" or "no" to the country's first constitution.
Amongst Iraq's 26 million citizens, an estimated 10,000 imprisoned Iraqis, most of whom are Sunnis, will also be allowed to vote, according to Reuters.
Sunni leaders have called on voters to either vote "no" in the referendum, or boycott the vote, as they feel it is biased against Iraq's Sunnu community.
The constitution is considered by others to be the cornerstone of future Iraqi democracy, as well a a basic requirement before US and coalition troops can withdraw from Iraq.
Saddam, who will go on trial four days after the referendum for the murder of 143 inhabitants of a Shiite village north of Baghdad, is expected to waive his right, as the constitution to be voted on bans the former "Saddamist Baath Party".
The former leader, whose current whereabouts are uncertain but believed to be a US detention center near Baghdad's airport, faces death by hanging if convicted of charges against him.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
- Cairo's 'constitutional' choice could show overnight, amid charges of rigging and banning female Copts
- Iraqi officials congratulate Saddam over referendum outcome
- Iraqi leader plans to hold referendum to endorse presidency
- At least 41 killed in surge of violence in Iraq days before referendum
- Hyundai faces Iraqi boycott