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Home > News > Report

Iraq okays interim charter

March 01, 2004 14:09 IST

After missing a February 28 deadline, Iraq's governing council agreed on an interim constitution on Monday.

The spokesmanof the 25-member council,Hameed Kefaey, said the draft would be formally signed on Wednesday. The constitution willalso provide a framework for the intermin government expected to take charge in July.

The council comprisesleaders from almost all of Iraq'sethnic and religious groups, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Turkmen.The deal had been bogged down over disagreements over the role of Islam, women in government and the demands for Kurdish autonomy in the northern part of the country.

Shias, who constitute 60 per cent of the country's population, want Islamic laws enforced.On Friday,Shia members of the council had stormed out of the meeting in protest overthe cancellation of a previous ruling that would have placeddivorce and inheritance underIslamic laws.

"Islam will be the official religion of the state and it will be a source of legislation. Also, the law will say to respect Islam as the religion of the majority," Kefaey said."Federalism also has been approved as a form of government," he added.

Complete coverage: The war on Iraq


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