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Iraqi Shiite leader balks at major changes to constitution

[JURIST] Abdul Aziz Hakim [Wikipedia profile], leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the country’s most powerful Shiite politician, said Wednesday that a new Iraqi government dominated by religious Shiites elected in the December 15 parliamentary vote [JURIST report] would not “change the essence” of the new Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive] despite a compromise with Sunni Arabs [JURIST report] before the constitutional referendum in October [JURIST report] that purported to allow revisions. The deal among Sunni, Shiite and Kurd leaders allowed parliament to review constitutional amendments up to four months after the new government ascended. A spokesman for the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution confirmed that while "some points or details" of the constitution may be negotiated, the "main principles ... cannot be touched." The Washington Post has more.

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