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Key Issues In Iraqi Constitution Still Unresolved

23 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi leaders have three more days to work out remaining differences over a draft of a new constitution.

A draft was delivered to parliament shortly before a midnight deadline last night, but the National Assembly did not vote on it.

Parliamentary speaker Hajim al-Hassani said several issues remain unresolved and the committee drafting it will have three more days of talks to resolve them.

Sunni Arabs on the committee said they rejected the document because the committee and the government failed to abide by an agreement for consensus. Analysts say the Sunnis oppose plans for a federal Iraq, fearing it will deprive them of power and oil wealth.

In Washington, the White House welcomed "another step forward" in the work on the constitution.

The original deadline was 15 August, but it was shifted to midnight on 22 August when no agreement was reached.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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