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Deadline looms for Iraqi constitution, several issues remain unsettled

[JURIST] With just a few hours remaining before Monday's midnight deadline [JURIST report], drafters of the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive] have settled some crucial issues, but are still struggling with the role that Islam should play in the nation's law, as well aa with questions of Shiite autonomy. A meeting of the Iraqi National Assembly is scheduled for Monday evening, where members hope to present a completed constitution for approval. Other critical questions such as whether clerics may sit on the Supreme Court and how much influence clerics should have on family disputes also remain unresolved. With the help of US officials, including US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad [official profile], drafters have reached an agreement on the contentious issue of oil wealth sharing, however Sunni leaders have complained of being excluded from the drafting process. Sunni leaders on Sunday expressed frustration with the process saying, "There is still no active and serious coordination so far. . . This constitution needs to be written by consensus, not simply a majority vote." The New York Times has more.

10:25 AM ET - Wire services are reporting that Shiite and Kurdish members Iraq's constitutional committee [official website] have reached an agreement on a draft constitution but that Sunni Arabs have not yet agreed to the draft. The National Assembly is scheduled to convene at 7 PM local time Monday to hear the committee's proposals. AP has more.

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