Unable to agree on a constitution, the leaders of the Iraqi National Assembly push the deadline back one week.
Still deadlocked after days of negotiations, Iraq’s leaders decided today to give themselves another week to agree on a new constitution and resolve a series of fundamental disagreements over the future and identity of this fractious land.
After meeting for several hours inside the protected Green Zone here, a group of senior Iraqi leaders told the National Assembly that they were unable to resolve a number of critical issues, including the role of Islam, the rights of women, the sharing of the country’s vast oil wealth and whether to grant the majority Shiites their own semi-independent region in the south.
Minutes before midnight, the leaders of the assembly agreed to amend the country’s interim constitution and give themselves until next Monday to strike a deal.
But Juan Cole points out that by setting a new deadline after August 1 the Iraqis are violating the laws currently governing their country.
In fact, according to the Transitional Administrative Law, if the committee did not ask for an extension by August 1 (which it was pressured not to do by the Bush administration); and if the parliament did not approve the new constitution by August 15; then parliament should be dissolved.
I suppose it was too much to expect them to dissolve the body that gives them power. And anyway, how could Chimpy claim that Freedom is On the March after the Iraqi Parliament ceased to exist?