Sunni objections to Iraq constitution draft [AP]

List of changes sought by Sunni negotiators to the draft Iraqi constitution [text], presented by Iraqi Culture Minister Nouri Farhan al-Rawi, Minister of State for Women's Affairs Azhar Abdel-Karim, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Saad al-Hardan, Industry Minister Osama al-Najafi and Deputy Prime Minister Abed Mutlaq al-Jbouri, August 27, 2005 [as reported by Associated Press]:

_The drafting committee should be given enough time to overcome all obstacles;

_In the constitutional preamble, no specific sect should be mentioned as having suffered under the previous regime, since that regime was unjust to everyone and this would foster future hatreds;

_Government posts should not be apportioned by religious sect;

_The preamble should be brief and no majority or minority should be mentioned because that does not serve Iraq's unity;

_The question of a federal state should be postponed for a future period, putting into consideration a special status for the Kurds;

_Iraq's Arab identity should be preserved because Arabs make up more than 80 percent of the population, with full respect to all religions and ethnic groups such as Kurds, Turkomen, Chaldean-Assyrians and Yazidis;

_Executive authority should not be concentrated in the hands of any one group;

_The next National Assembly should have the right to introduce amendments to the constitution;

_There should be no mention of de-Baathification in the constitution. The issue should be referred to the Justice Ministry;

_The constitution should not refer to the Arab population as Sunnis and Shiites, but just Arabs;

_Elected leaders including the president and prime minister, as well as government officials and military officers, should take an oath to "preserve the unity of Iraq and its independence;"

_Civil law should be the basis of legal norms affecting citizens and ethnic groups;

_The decision on the future powers of autonomous provinces and regions should be left to the National Assembly elected in December.
Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.

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