14 October 2005
At Critical Moment in Iraq's History, Every Vote Counts, Secretary-General Tells Iraqis on National Constitution Day
NEW YORK, 14 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the Iraqi people on National Constitution Day (13 October), issued today in Lisbon:
Last January, you, the people of Iraq, demonstrated with great courage your commitment to your country's transition to democracy. The constitutional referendum on 15 October is a keystone of this process. You will have the opportunity to exercise your democratic right to accept or reject the draft text that is submitted to you. For the second time in less than a year, the future is in your hands.
Today is dedicated to peaceful debate and reflection on the merits of this document, so that you can make an informed decision on referendum day. This is the time to keep the guns quiet on all sides and to let the voices of the Iraqi people be heard. In particular, I urge those who themselves refuse to participate in the political process not to deprive others of their right to do so, free from fear and intimidation.
At this critical moment in Iraq's history, every vote counts. Whatever the outcome, the United Nations will continue to do all it can to help you succeed on whichever path you choose for building a stable, unified and prosperous Iraq.
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