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Much Remains Unclear About the SOFA Referendum

In order to secure the passage of the Status of Forces Agreement, the Maliki government had to agree to a Sunni-driven demand for a popular referendum on

Adaline Fritz
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 09, 2008

In order to secure the passage of the Status of Forces Agreement, the Maliki government had to agree to a Sunni-driven demand for a popular referendum on speeding up the U.S. withdrawal from the country. Early reporting suggested that it could potentially kick the U.S. out by mid-2010. Important as it seems, almost everything about that referendum remains unclear, as I learned when I asked Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the Iraqi government, about it this afternoon.

Most importantly, the wording of the referendum question hasn’t been worked out. “One of the proposed questions would be, ‘Do you think that we will continue with the SOFA, whether yes or no,”” Dabbagh said. (By which I gathered he meant that was one proposed question among several, not that that will be the official text of the question. English isn’t his first language.) He continued to say that the Iraqi parliament will have to pass a law “to decide what type of question.” That law should occur by the beginning of next year.

Dabbagh didn’t address what is required for the referendum to pass — simple majority? Majority of Iraqi provinces? Voted down if two-thirds of any three provinces reject it?, etc. He didn’t say and it could be that he law will have to determine that. Perhaps we’ll have to wait until the parliament passes the referendum law to know.

Adaline Fritz | Adaline's upbeat, can-do attitude and nurturing disposition make her perfect for understanding each client's wants and needs and skillfully directing them toward their real estate objectives. Adaline has experience in all facets of the real estate process, having started in the administrative sector and progressed to operations before achieving success in real estate sales. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and Western Oregon University, and returned to the Portland area in 2011 to pursue a career in real estate. She also loves traveling, working out, and spending time on the water during Portland's beautiful summers.


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