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Shiite cleric denies meddling in Iraq constitution

[JURIST] A spokesman for Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [official website, English version] said Tuesday that Sistani is not demanding that Iraq's new constitution be based solely on Islamic sharia law [Wikipedia article]. Sistani's spokesman said "Sistani reiterates his previous positions that the constitution should respect the Islamic cultural identity of the Iraqi people." Tuesday's statement is meant to refute reports that Shiite clerics are calling for Islamic law to be the sole source [JURIST report] of legislation for Iraq's new constitution, which will be drafted by members of the Transitional National Assembly, chosen in the recent Iraqi elections [JURIST Hot Topic archive]. Reuters has more.

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