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Iraqi Politicians Race To Complete Constitution

Members of the Constitution Drafting Committee (file photo) 8 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Senior Iraqi politicians are today racing against time to agree the draft of a new constitution to present to parliament by 15 August.

Presidential spokesman Kamaran Goradaghi told reporters the leaders have agreed to hold daily meetings until all points in the constitution are settled by consensus.

Officials say 18 key differences on the document remain, including the role of religion in politics and the scope of federalism.

Today's meeting comes after Kurdish, Sunni, and Shi'ite representatives met at President Jalal Talabani's home on 7 August.

However, not all leaders attended that meeting. Kurdish leader Massud Barzani was unable to fly to Baghdad because of a sand storm.

And Prime Minister Ibrahim Ja'fari did not attend because of "security concerns," which were not specified.


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