[JURIST] In response to Sunni demands for a greater role [JURIST report] in crafting Iraq's new constitution, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] announced Thursday that Sunnis will be given as many as 25 new seats on the committee with "full rights like other members who were elected by the parliament", meeting a concern that any additional Sunni members might not be able to vote on drafts. The Shiite-led Iraqi government had previously offered only 13 non-voting seats. Sunni Muslims, who currently hold only two of 55 seats on the current committee, threatened to pull out of the process if they were not given a bigger say. AP has more.
In a related development, it emerged Thursday that two special consultative committees have been set up to help the official parliamentary committee in the Iraqi constitution-drafting process. A member of Iraqi Islamic Party said that an Islamic consultative committee made up of Sunnis and Shiites had been formed to discuss constitutional questions before they are addressed in the parliamentary body, while the UN Secretary-General's personal representative in Baghdad said that an international consultative committee had been formed to assist the Iraqi political and constitutional process. UPI has more.