IRAQ ON THE BRINK OVER CHARTER
Tuesday, August 23, 2005.
was on the brink of a political crisis last night, with Sunni leaders warning
of all-out civil war.
row centred on a move by the rival Shia Islamists to force through a Constitution
the clock ticked towards the midnight deadline for agreeing a draft charter,
the Iraqi leaders prepared to submit one to parliament.
was withdrawn at the last moment, however, to give time to win over the
majority Sunni community whose support is key to ending the insurgency.
Hajim -al Hassani extended the deadline by three days to try and ensure ‘the
constitution pleases everyone’.
‘All these groups in the coming three days will try, God
willing, to reach accord’, he said, before adjourning the session.
key dispute is over women’s rights - and it emerged yesterday that the U.S. is
backing Shia demands for Islamic religious law to be enshrined in the
This would mean finally abandoning the tarnished dream of
turning Iraq into a beacon of secular democracy.
Federalism and sharing out the country’s oil wealth also
remain sticking points.
will not be silent,’ said Soha Allawi, a Sunni Arab on the drafting committee.
‘The draft has elements that
will lead to the break-up of Iraq and civil war.’
A referendum on a charter is due in October, followed by
elections in December . If those
dates slip, the prospect of British troops pulling out will recede.
stakes high, it was revealed that the U.S. - which has intervened directly in
talks -was no longer opposing an Islamic State that would erode women’s rights.
Shia want to give their clerics near total authority over domestic disputes,
using their own interpretation of the Koran to decide what women can and cannot
This would leave Iraqi women
with far fewer rights than they had under Saddam Hussein and make a
mockery of American claims to bring democracy to the country.
About 100 women protested in central Baghdad yesterday.
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MoD - obtains
almost half the COST of the
Iraq War and
selling Army land - barracks-hospitals.July-2007
Daniel Hannan - Forming an OPPOSITION
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