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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Iraqi referendum gives hope of ending the war

The Sunni Arab dissidents may have lost more than the referendum in Saturday's voting on their proposed Iraqi constitution.

They may have lost the perception that their violence and opposition to the new U.S.-backed government have widespread support.

Voter turnout was so high that Iraq's electoral commission intends to recount some ballots to look for evidence of fraud. If none is found, the Sunnis lose big.

Seeing how Sunnis voted in some provinces was relatively easy although, nationwide, they are in the minority. In two provinces where the population is a good mix of Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis, the vote was strongly in favor of the constitution.

Further evidence that Sunni leaders have lost control over their people is in Diyala and Ninevah provinces where officials believe they have a slight majority.

Guess what? The constitution won.

The vote outcome was 70 percent in favor of the constitution in Diyala while only 20 percent opposed it.

The outcome suggests that Sunni officials have lost their followers, which may mean our troops can come home soon.

Let us hope the referendum was legitimate.

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