Source Pravda.Ru

Another Iraqi constitution deadline extension

The deadline for Iraqi constitution again extended for a day. The reason for the delay is failure to come to an agreement with Sunni Arabs.

But if no agreement is reached this time, the document will bypass parliament completely and be finalized in an October 15th referendum.

Assembly Speaker Hajim al-Hassani made the announcement minutes after the midnight deadline.

"We took all the suggestions to the alliance to study them. We were running late and thought that another 24 hours would be needed to reach a result that pleases everyone. This constitution deserves these efforts," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish Member of the Iraqi National Assembly, says he hopes the three main factions can reach a resolution.

"At this moment we need national unity, we need Iraqis all together to support the constitution. We need a constitution that will have support of all groups together, specially the three main groups, Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites."

Sunni and Shiite negotiators have traded counteroffers in recent days, with the Sunnis asking that the issue of southern autonomy be decided by the National Assembly or in the upcoming referendum. They also want to remove language condemning the Baath Party and Saddam Hussein, whose Sunni-dominated government long oppressed Iraq's Shiite and Kurdish communities, according to the Times.

Both issues, participants say, are deal-breakers for the Shiites. Moreover, the National Assembly has not even met since Aug. 15.

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