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Iraqi government forms constitutional drafting committee

[JURIST] The newly formed Iraqi government on Tuesday created a 55-member committee that will begin work on drafting the country's permanent constitution by the August 15 deadline prescribed by the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) [text], the interim Iraqi constitution. The committee includes 28 members of the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance party, 15 from the Kurdish coalition, eight from former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's secular party, and four others. Only a few Sunni Arabs, mostly from Allawi's party, serve on the committee, but representatives from other Sunni groups will fill an advisory role on the committee. Given the slow progress in forming the government, many lawmakers expect to have to invoke a six-month extension for drafting the constitution. There is strong support for making Islam the primary source of law [JURIST report] for under the charter. Under the TAL, Islam is considered "a source" for law and laws are not to contradict agreed-upon Islamic tenets. The Financial Times has more.

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