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Iraqi Constitution Talks Continue

12 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A United Nations official has said that Iraqi politicians have not yet concluded negotiations on a draft constitution.

Nicholas Haysom, the UN official charged with the printing of the constitution, told Reuters on 11 September that it remains unclear when a final text will be ready.

The agency also quoted a legislator from Iraq's Shi'ite majority, Sa'd Quandil, as saying the National Assembly did not discuss the draft on 11 September and that negotiations on proposed amendments could continue for several days.

Quandil, a member of the parliamentary committee drafting the constitution, said an amendment to satisfy Sunni demands about the wording of a passage on Iraq's Arab identity was still under discussion. Meanwhile, Kurds are pressing a claim to be guaranteed both deputy prime minister posts, and the Shi'a want water resources to be explicitly placed under central-government authority.

Iraqis are scheduled to vote on the constitution in a nationwide referendum on 15 October.


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

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