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Decision on Iraqi constitution extension set for Monday

[JURIST] The committee drafting the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive] has until Monday to request an extension if necessary and members will meet that day to decide the issue, according to a committee spokesman. The final constitution is actually not due until August 15, but the deadline of August 1 to request a six-month extension may prove material as questions on federalism, women's rights and the constitutional role of Islam [JURIST report] have yet to be formally settled. A committee spokesman has said three main sections of the draft are completed, including fundamental rights and duties, constitutional guarantees, and institutions of unitary power. If the constitution date is delayed by the six month period provided for under Iraq's Transitional Administrative Law, elections currently scheduled for December this year would also be postponed until the document is finalized in February and then approved by referendum. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official biography] visited Iraq this week and urged the committee to finalize the constitution [JURIST report] by the August 15 deadline. Committee spokesman Humam Hamoudi said he anticipates no delay even with the Sunni boycott after two of their members were killed [JURIST report]. AKI reports that two Sunnis already have been appointed to replace the committee members who were gunned down. Reuters has more.

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