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Deadline for Iraq constitution looms

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Deadline for Iraq constitution looms

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Iraqis will find out at midnight tonight if their leaders have hammered out a deal on a new constitution. Despite lengthy negotiations, the leaders of the country’s three main sectarian groups have failed to come up with a draft they all agree on.

Kurds, Sunnis and Shi’ites are at odds over the key issues of federalism, power-sharing among the provinces, the role of Islam and oil. The Sunnis, who dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein, fear their share of oil revenues would be compromised if the oil-rich Kurdish and Shi’ite regions are given broad federal autonomy. Officials are now discussing whether they will extend the deadline a second time — no deal was reached last week — or take the more radical step of dissolving parliament and calling fresh elections.