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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 09:27 PM
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Iraqi politicians seek more time to develop new government
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A month after Iraq's landmark elections, negotiations to form a new government have stalled and could last several more weeks because of disputes over territory, the role of religion and minority representation.

The delay has brought an end to election fever, with Iraqis growing more frustrated that the mostly Shiite Muslim parliament they voted into power on Jan. 30 still hasn't confirmed a prime minister or sorted out key Cabinet posts - necessary steps before the new parliament can convene.

Other key areas remain far from settled. There are no clear favorites in discussions over who'll hold the "big five" ministries: defense, interior, finance, oil and foreign affairs.

There also appears to have been little progress in determining who'll sit on the committee that will draft a permanent constitution for Iraq and, in doing so, determine whether the country becomes the secular democracy envisioned by the Bush administration, a conservative Islamic state or a battleground for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 09:35 PM
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1. More ...Kurdish and Shiite Leadership Begin Heavy Bargaining
From the new World Media Watch

3//, UK 01/03/2005


ARBIL, Iraq, March 1 (AFP) - 18h08 - Negotiations to form Iraqs next government intensified Monday as Shiite Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the frontrunner to become the next prime minister, and Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani held talks on forming a coalition.


The two groups, which have bickered in the past over Kurdish demands for wide-ranging autonomy, papered over their differences as they vowed to create a national unity government.


But before joining any coalition, the Kurds are demanding written pledges that the next government will follow to the letter the interim constitution, the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), and work toward restoring Kirkuk to the Kurds, interim deputy prime minister Barham Saleh told AFP in Baghdad.

Saleh insisted there was "broad agreement" between Jaafaris United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) and the Kurdish list, the two biggest vote getters in Januarys historic election, but repeated that the Kurds wanted more than words.

"We would need specific written pledges and agreements between all the various lists in parliament as far as their commitment to the provisions of the TAL," Saleh said.

Jaafari has previously said he wants to repeal the interim laws provision that a two-thirds majority in three provinces could veto the constitution, which is due to be drafted by the next government and put to a referendum in October.

Kurds -- who control the provinces of Arbil, Dohuk and Sulaimaniyah -- see the provision as an iron-clad guarantee that they will be able to guard their virtual autonomy in northern Iraq and ensure they are never again persecuted by Iraqs Arab majority.

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