The draft text has been leaked to the media. Heated debate over the document has intensified as the late February deadline for announcing its final version draws closer.  

 

The text discusses the relationship between the state and Islam, without mentioning that Iraq is an Arab country.

 

The document lays down rules for organising elections, and ways to ensure that Baathists do not run for elections.

 

It outlines federalism within a united Iraq, without giving any detail. It states that a five-member presidential committee will be formed to rule Iraq.

 

The legislation will be approved in
coordination with US authorities 

The army will not have a say in state affairs, but the government can deploy organised units for the maintenance of law and order if necessary.

 

A legislative council will be formed according to the law. The council will hold its first session on 21 May 2004. The text, which will be seen as Iraq's interim constitution, will be applied for a period of 18 months.

 

The legislation - if approved - will be the cornerstone for the constitution that will rule Iraq for years to come.

 

Key extracts

 

Chapter one

Iraq is a sovereign state, and Islam is the official religion. Arabic is the official language of Iraq, while taking into consideration the Kurdish language in northern Iraq.

 

Chapter two

Iraqis are equal regardless of their ethnicity, sex, or sect. The right of free speech is guaranteed to all Iraqis.

 

Chapter three

Candidates for the legislative council should be not less than 30-years old, and must not have been a Baath party member.

 

The document lays down rules for organising elections, and ways to ensure that Baathists do not run for elections

Chapter four

The presidential committee is to appoint a prime minister. The prime minister should be a legislative council member.

 

Chapter five

The judiciary is independent. The "permanent phase" will see the adoption of some basic principles, "election law", "multi-party federal regime within a united Iraq", "organising the federal state of the Kurdish provinces", and "to respect Islamic identity of the majority of Iraqis".

 

The legislation consists of nine chapters and includes 70 articles. There will be no vote to approve the legislation. The US appointed Iraqi Governing Council will approve the legislation in coordination with US occupation forces.