Iraq’s majority Shi’ites came out on the streets of the Holy city of Najaf, celebrating news that a draft constitution had been submitted to Parliament just a few minutes before the midnight deadline.
However the draft document has only been agreed with the Kurds while the Sunni minority held up a final vote, some even warning of a possible civil war.
The National Assembly speaker, Hachim al-Hasani, announced that there would bethree more days for the different groups to thrash out their differences, saying a consensus was essential.
The Sunnis are concerned that allowing for federalism may see the creation of an autonomous Shi’ite area in the south and a Kurdish territory in the north.
A federalist solution leading to this level of autonomy could cost the Sunnis considerably in terms of oil revenues.
The isssue of federalism will have to be resolved or papered over in the next three days if the draft document is be approved, paving the way for the referendum which must be held before October 15th.