Talabani sees early charter completion

Iraq's president has predicted that the new constitution may be completed by the end of the month if a deal can be worked out with critics who have reservations about parts of the document.

    The Iraqi president says Arab reservations are being looked at

    The deadline for completing the draft is 15 August, and the charter will be submitted to the electorate for approval two months later.

     

    Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, said the committee was making good progress "but there are some Arab brothers" who "have some reservations that are being taken into consideration".

     

    "If we can reach an agreement with them, I believe the constitution can be ready by the end of the month," he said.

     

    Arab identity

     

    Talabani did not identify the critics but he was clearly referring to Sunni Arabs who want a strong statement affirming Iraq's Arab identity and who oppose some definitions of federalism supported by the Kurds and some Shia Muslims.

     

    Those are among the major hurdles standing in the way of completing the constitution.

     

    "As soon as the referendum on it [the constitution] is finished, Iraq will have stability"

    Iyad Allawi,
    former interim prime minister

    Former prime minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia, said he supported using the interim constitution, approved before Iraq regained sovereignty from the US-led occupation authority.

     

    Some Shia oppose the interim charter's limitations on the role of Muslim law as the basis of the legal code. Some Sunnis oppose autonomy guarantees given to the Kurds as a threat to national unity.

     

    "Concerning the constitution, we are in agreement with the national and Kurdish forces that the interim constitution be the basis for the Iraqi constitution," Allawi said.

     

    "I believe that will allow Iraq to have the constitution. As soon as the referendum on it is finished, Iraq will have stability."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.