Iraq

A chess puzzle

Let me see if I’ve got this straight:

–The Grand Ayatollah Sistani has issued a religious edict forbidding the playing of chess. However he has said nothing to suggest he wants to make chess-playing illegal in Iraq.

–The United Iraqi Alliance, of which Sistani is the spiritual leader, won just over half the seats in the new Iraqi National Assembly.

–The alliance is a mixture of Shia religious parties, secular groups, independents and a few Sunnis and Kurds.

–A two-thirds majority of the National Assembly will be needed to choose a new government and approve a new constitution.

–Once the constitution is approved, it will be voted on in a national referendum, in which a two-thirds vote of any three provinces can send it back to the drawing board.

–If the constitution is ratified by Iraqi voters, a new election for National Assembly will be held in December– the results of which could be substantially different from the January 30 election.

Therefore, according to Richard Ingrams in The Observer and others: “Once [Sistani] assumes control, chess will be forbidden.”

Did I miss a move somewhere?

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