Iraq parliament signs off on constitution final draft

[JURIST] Iraq's National Assembly Sunday signed off on what a senior lawmaker called the absolute final draft of the country's proposed permanent constitution [JURIST news archive], and said the text had been turned over to the UN for printing. Deputy National Assembly speaker Hussain al-Shahristani told reporters "There is no way there will be any changes now... The draft is being submitted to the United Nations and will be presented to the Iraqi people soon." A UN official confirmed that the draft had been received and said printing and mass distribution would get under way immediately. As was the case when the Assembly received the original draft three weeks ago [JURIST report], however, no formal vote of approval was taken by Iraqi lawmakers; al-Shahristani said that was a matter for the people, not parliament. The changes in the definitive version of the charter over its last revised version [JURIST document] are very minor, and Iraq's Sunnis remain deeply opposed to it, especially deploring its embrace of federalism, which they say will be fatal to the unified future of the country. Senior Sunni lawmakers have already said they will campaign vigorously for rejection of the charter in the national referendum scheduled for October 15 [JURIST report]. The charter will fail if two-thirds of voters in three or more of Iraq's 18 provinces reject it; Sunnis have majorities in at least three provinces. AP has more. Reuters provides additional coverage.

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