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Iraq parliament delays debate on federalism bill again

[JURIST] The Iraqi National Assembly [official website] on Sunday postponed debate on proposed federalism legislation that would allow Iraq's 18 provinces to form strong governments with their own security forces. Debate on the bill, supported by Kurdish and Shiite politicians and opposed by most Sunnis, is now postponed until September 19, a month before the recently agreed-upon October 22 deadline for the Iraq parliament to define the rights and responsibilities of the provinces vis-a-vis the federal government. Some lawmakers are of the opinion that the constitution [JURIST news archive] should be amended before parliament discusses the possibility of relatively autonomous Iraqi provinces.

Debate on the bill was delayed last week [JURIST report] due to Sunni opposition to the bill. Sunnis oppose the plan because it would leave them without access to Iraq's oil as most Sunnis live in the central and western provinces of the country where oil resources are limited. Shiite lawmakers proposed the draft plan [JURIST report] in August. Reuters has more. VOI has local coverage.

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