Saturday, August 27, 2005

Iraq constitution latest

The speaker of the Iraqi parliament has announced that an amended text on Iraq's new constitution will be presented to MPs on Sunday.
Hajim-al-Hassani said Shia and Kurd factions had reached agreement in principle on proposals put to them by Sunni Arab representatives.

"The Iraqi people have to give their word now and reject the constitution because this constitution is the beginning of the division of the country and the beginning of creating disturbance in the country," a sunni spokesman said.

The outstanding issues from the Shia-Kurdish draft submitted last Monday included:

federalism, and the way to form semi-autonomous regions

the terminology used in eradicating the influence of the former Baath regime - whether to use the term Baath party or Saddam's Baath

structuring of authority between the presidency, parliament and the government.
Sunnis have expressed concerns that allowing for federalism may lead to the creation of an autonomous Shia area in southern Iraq - like the Kurdish north but under Iran's influence.


The Sunnis fear greater autonomy for the Kurdish north and Shia south could compromise their share of revenues from those oil-rich regions.

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