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August 15 deadline arrives for new Iraq charter

[JURIST] Shiite and Kurdish leaders said Monday that they are prepared to submit the draft of Iraq's new constitution [JURIST news archive] to parliament, just meeting the August 15 deadline, even in the face of Sunni Arab objections. Though it could cause an increase in insurgent attacks, Shiite politician Hassan al-Sunnaid said there were "no deadlocks" and that the draft would be given to the National Assembly by the Monday evening deadline. Sunni Arab leaders Kamal Hamdoun and Haseeb Aref disputed the "no deadlocks" claim and said there was no final agreement on federalism [JURIST report] and other contentious issues like oil wealth distribution and dual citizenship that have held up the agreement for weeks. An extension to the drafting process would require approval of two-thirds of parliament, the president, and his two deputies. Sunni negotiators have indicated that the federalism issue could be postponed for a year [JURIST report], allowing the draft constitution to be submitted on time. The US has pushed Iraq to stick to Monday's deadline [JURIST report], even at the risk of angering or alienating Sunnis. AP has more.

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