Sunnis reject offer of 13 more seats on Iraq constitutional committee Krista-Ann Staley at 9:41 AM ET
[JURIST] The leading Sunni Muslim political grouping in Iraq rejected the Shiite-led Iraqi government's offer of an additional 13 seats on the country's constitutional committee Friday, sticking to its demand for 25 seats [JURIST report] and threatening to boycott negotiations on the charter if their demands are not met. Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari [Wikipedia profile] had endorsed the offer, which would have increased the committee from 55 to 69 members and raised Sunni representation from 2 to a total of 15, but a spokesman for the Gathering of the Sunni People said "We will not agree and will not concede any seat." Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] had voiced support for Sunni demands Thursday, stating that they would be given as many as 25 seats [JURIST report] on the committee with full voting rights. However, committee membership is a parlimentary issue over which the Iraqi presidency has limited power. Negotiations over committee membership threaten parliament's August 15 deadline to agree upon a text, with a referendum slated to follow two months afterwards. Reuters has more.
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