Monday, September 26, 2005

Factional Rift Threatening Shi’ite Unity on Iraqi Constitution

"Iraq’s top Shi’ite clerics and politicians are seeking to unite the country’s majority behind Iraq’s draft constitution. But they are facing resistance from two powerful Shi’ite clerics in Baghdad and Basra. With the country’s Sunni Arabs already opposed to the document, it is not yet clear whether there will be enough Shi’ite unity for the constitution to pass next month in a national referendum.

The most crucial endorsement of Iraq’s draft constitution came late Thursday from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, arguably the most revered and most powerful Shi’ite cleric in the country."


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