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Rumsfeld opposes Iraq constitution delay

[JURIST] US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] told the Senate Armed Services Committee [official website] in a heated hearing [witness list] on Iraq Thursday that a delay in Iraq's adoption of a constitution would be "an enormous disservice" while "coalition people are being killed. Iraqis are being killed." Rumsfeld did not specify the potential repercussions of a delay, but said, "To the extent there were, for whatever reason, a delay in moving forward with drafting a constitution or a referendum on the constitution or holding the elections, it would retard the entire process." Senator Carl Levin [official website], the committee's ranking Democrat, noted that the approved timetable under the interim Iraqi constitution gives the country's National Assembly only until August 15 to draft a constitution with but one six-month extension possible. Earlier this month Iraq asked for UN assistance [JURIST report] in drafting the charter to avoid potential delays. Read Levin's hearing statement. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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