Council Divided Over Role of Religion, Misses Deadline for Approval of Interim Constitution

February 29, 2004

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

On February 29, 2004 the San Francisco Chronicle ran a Los Angeles Times article that reported, "The Iraqi Governing Council, deeply divided over the role of religion and other core issues in a future government, worked late into the night Saturday but failed to meet its deadline to approve an interim constitution...The divisions within the U.S.-appointed council underscore the complexities of establishing a constitution that will satisfy Iraq's different religious and ethnic groups sufficiently to deter widespread violence, observers said. Unless minorities are convinced that the new constitution protects them, civil war remains a possibility...The council members remain divided on issues of Islam's role in Iraq's laws, the authorities of independent militias and quotas for women serving in the legislature, a senior coalition official said."