8 April 2005 -- Iraq's new president, Jalal Talabani, said on Friday that lawmakers will meet a mid-August deadline for writing a constitution despite weeks of delay in forming a government.
Ten weeks after Iraq's 30 January elections, a new government has yet to be formed. But progress was made this week with Talabani becoming president and Shi'ite leader Ibrahim Ja'afari named prime minister.
Once a government is formed, writing a constitution is the next key political step on the road to new elections by end-2005.
The new constitution is meant to be ready by 15 August, although lawmakers are allowed to request a six-month delay.
But Talabani said that drafting the constitution "will be done on time."
(Reuters)[For more on events in Iraq, see RFE/RL's dedicated The New Iraqwebpage.]