After days of delay Iraqi leaders sign historic interim constitution - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

After days of delay Iraqi leaders sign historic interim constitution

    The clause in Iraq's interim constitution that caused a delay in its signing may come up again. 
    Members of Iraq's Governing Council have signed the document -- a key step in U-S plans to hand over power to the Iraqis by July first. 
    Twenty-five council members signed the document on an antique desk once owned by Iraq's first monarch. 
    The council president (Mohammed Bahr al-Ulloum) calls the signing a "historic moment, decisive in the history of Iraq."
     The Shiites who had opposed the provision giving Kurds more veto power says they want to negotiate this point some more.
     They said they signed the charter today to safeguard national unity.
     The charter has a 13-article bill of rights, enshrines Islam as one of the bases of law and outlines the shape of a parliament and presidency as well as a federal structure for Iraq.
     It will remain in effect until a permanent constitution is approved by a national referendum planned for late 2005.

(Copyright 2004 By the Associated Press; All rights reserved)

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