UPDATE ~ Sunnis offer proposed amendments to Iraq constitution draft

UPDATE ~ Sunnis offer proposed amendments to Iraq constitution draft

[JURIST] Sunni Arab negotiators met with Iraqi parliament speaker Hajim al-Hassani Saturday and presented him with a counter-proposal to the Iraqi draft constitution [English translation; JURIST news archive]. A meeting with the US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was also planned for Saturday, Sunni negotiator Fakhri al-Qaisi said. According to Al-Qaisi, if the amendments in the counter-proposal are not incorporated into a compromise, Sunnis would not accept the draft which Shiites and Kurds presented on Friday as their final offer [JURIST report]. Sunnis have rejected the Shiite position on the status of the Baath party [Wikipedia profile] and are pushing for decentralized provinces, with an exception for Kurdish areas. If Sunni demands are not met, Sunni leaders say they will push for a rejection of the constitution [AP report] in October's national referendum. Under the Transitional Administrative Law [text], if two-thirds of voters in any three of Iraq's provinces reject the draft, the constitution will be defeated. AP has more.

1:20 PM ET – AP is reporting that four Sunni Cabinet ministers and one Sunni deputy prime minister have expressed reservations about the proposed constitutional draft.