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Radical Shiite cleric al-Sadr rejects Iraq constitution

[JURIST] Influential radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr [Aljazeera profile] has parted ways with his partners in the biggest Iraqi parliamentary bloc by rejecting the federal system described in the new Iraqi constitution [PDF text, JURIST news archive]. Al-Sadr told Aljazeera on Saturday, "If there is a democratic government in Iraq, nobody has the right to call for the establishment of federalism anywhere in Iraq whether it is the south, north, middle or any other part of Iraq." The comments would seem to reopen a highly contentious political issue: minority Sunnis have also objected to the federal system [JURIST report], fearing that Kurds and Shiites will use it to leverage too much control over Iraq's oil. Aljazeera has more.

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