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Iraq constitution reform committee admits failure to agree

[JURIST] Members of the committee responsible for developing reforms to Iraq's constitution [JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that, after six months of negotiations, they have been unable to reach any sort of agreement. The panel made up of Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds had promised [JURIST report] to present Iraq's parliament by May 15 a set of proposed amendments aimed at being more inclusive of Sunni Arabs and encompassing refinements urged by other groups. Kurd leaders had opposed terminology in the original document declaring an Arab identity for Iraq, and Sunnis had objected to federalist language.

Iraq's current constitution [PDF text] was ratified by a Shiite and Kurd majority in a 2005 referendum [JURIST report]. Sunnis have in the past blocked [JURIST report] attempts to pass federalist legislation. Committee members believe that political leaders will have to negotiate such sensitive issues. Reuters has more.

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