Disagreement over constitution timetable

30 September 2003
A member of the group working to draft a new Iraqi constitution announced on 30 September that it would not be ready in six months, as US Secretary of State Colin Powell had suggested on 26 September. 'It is impossible to do it in six months as Powell wants,' said council member Dara Noureddine. 'It is unreasonable. It takes more time than this, much more.' Faud Masum, a Kurd, heads the 25-member committee selected to draft the new constitution. He said that there are three main points of contention that the committee must debate - federalism, the role of Islam, and Iraq's position in the Arab world. 'If we can get past these it will be smooth sailing,' he said. 'The constitution cannot be a constitution of the majority. It must be a constitution of the entirety.'

Another member of the committee, Jalal Uldin al-Saghir, a well-known Shiite cleric, was the target of an assassination attempt on 28 September. Al-Saghir was not injured in the incident (MEED 30:9:03).

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