Iraqi constitution may be delayed

11 November 2003
Foreign Affairs Minister Hoshyar Zebari on 9 November announced that the drafting of a new Iraqi constitution could be delayed due to poor security in the country. Zebari said that the Interim Governing Council (IGC) - which under a UN resolution has one month to set a schedule for the drafting of a preliminary constitution - could miss that timetable as it 'depends on the security situation, and if the security deteriorates, we will not adhere to such commitments' (MEED 24:10:03).

The IGC's comments come as the council faces increased criticism from US officials in the country. Coalition administrators have suggested that council members may try to delay elections and a constitution in an attempt to safeguard their jobs. 'Elections put the council out of a job,' said a senior administrator in Iraq. Reports from the US suggest that American officials have been considering a different approach to interim governance, which could emulate the model used in Afghanistan. 'If our exit [from Iraq] is going to take longer, if it looks like it could go more than two years to get it all done, then there is an incentive to look into a transitional phase and some other governing mechanism,' a US State Department official told the US daily the Washington Post.

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