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Iraq Begins Distributing Draft Constitution

7 October 2005 -- Iraqi authorities have begun handing out copies of a draft constitution ahead of a hotly contested referendum on the charter next week.

The constitution is being distributed together with subsidized foodstuffs. But it is also available in public buildings, hospitals, universities, and even jails.

Iraqi officials say they hope to reach up to 5 million copies printed ahead of the 15 October referendum.

The UN has helped fund the printing, which includes an additional 400,000 copies in Turkoman and Assyrian.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has acknowledged that most Sunni Arabs are likely to reject the constitution.


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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