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Iraqis fear new draft constitution will lead to country's disintegration

17:01 30/08/2005

BAGHDAD, August 30 (RIA Novosti, Pavel Davydov) - Iraq fears that a constitution that does not meet the interests of the whole society may lead to the disintegration of the state.

"The Sunnis, which represent one of the key groups in Iraqi society, refused to sign the draft constitution," an Iraqi writer, Shiite Diya al-Khalidi, said. "This means the constitution does not meet the aspirations and hopes of the whole Iraqi nation, which might lead to the country's disintegration."

Many people said they believed that if the constitution did not take into account the interests of all major communities within Iraqi society - Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds - conflict and tension would grow between them.

"Federalism in Iraq, which Kurds and some Shiite leaders are insisting upon," Shiite Adnan al-Mayahi, a worker from Baghdad, said, "will lead to escalation of hatred between different communities, as the balance will be distorted between them."

Shiite lawyer Ali Mahmoud said the idea of federalism was absolutely unacceptable for Iraq. "Federalism would be possible in Iraq if Iraqis first of all felt that they were the country's citizens, and then, that they were members of a community, faith, or tribe, if all Iraqis could live in any part of the country regardless of its ethnic composition." This would not be possible either now or in the near future, the lawyer said. He explained that Kurds, for example, did not associate themselves with Iraq and wanted to separate from it.

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