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Iraqi Parliament Convenes

Iraq's National Assembly meeting on March 16 (epa) May 3, 2006 -- Iraqi lawmakers convened the parliament today for its first working session since it was elected in December.

Parliament speaker Mahmud al-Mashhadani opened the session, saying 154 of the 275 members were present for the session.

The parliament's previous April 22 session saw the appointment of a speaker, his two deputies, and the three-member Presidency Council.

Reports say the parliament today will begin addressing how to review the constitution ratified in October.

Sunnis oppose several provisions of the constitution, including one allowing formation of regional governments. Many Sunnis fear that would lead to Iraq's breakup and deprive them of a fair share of the country's vast oil wealth.


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