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Thousands protest Iraq constitution as Sunni party calls for changes
Thousands protest Iraq constitution as Sunni party calls for changes

[JURIST] Thousands of Sunni Arabs protested the draft Iraqi constitution [translated pre-revision draft; AP summary of revisions] Monday, one day after the revised draft was presented and read to the National Assembly [JURIST report]. The parliament did not vote to formally approve the draft, but the charter must be approved by Iraqi citizens in an October 15 referendum. Sunni negotiators have so far refused to endorse the agreement, saying that the Shiite-Kurd alliance pushed the document through the constitutional drafting committee [official website], without considering Sunni objections to the charter [JURIST document]. However, the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of Iraq's largest Sunni parties, has indicated that it may sign on to the draft. Party spokesman Tariq al-Hashemi said Monday that the party might sign the constitution if disputed points are resolved [Reuters report], adding that they have until the October referendum to decide whether to sign. Protesting Monday in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, Sunnis denounced the constitution and vowed to defeat it in the October referendum. AP has more.