It looks like Iraqi leaders will now make today’s deadline for presenting a draft constitution for the country.Despite several areas of dispute, a broad outline should be ready by this afternoon. The National Assembly will then begin debating the proposal. Washington and London are both keen to see Iraq take this next step. But many, including Shi’ite Sheikh Fatih al-Kashif al-Ghada don’t want them to interfere. “[It is] very obvious that the American and British like their own ideas and they are trying to do their own ideas and rights, to do big pressure on the constitution,” he said. The general public will have its say in a referendum in October. Large numbers have already registered to vote. Some are worried the draft is being drawn up to suit political ends rather than citizens’ needs. There are also differences of opinion on how great a role Islam should play. One of the main sticking point is the level of autonomy Iraq’s regions should enjoy. Shi’ites lean towards federalism, Sunnis prefer a more centralised government. Kurds in the north are pushing for self-rule and ultimately independence.
Iraqi leaders finalise draft constitution