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Iraq Gets Draft Constitution, Edging Deadline

A draft constitution has been presented to Iraq's National Assembly. But there was no vote, and discussions on its contents are ongoing. Six minutes before the midnight deadline, speaker Hashim al Hassani announced negotiators need up to three more days to settle their differences.

Minority Sunni representatives have threatened to hold up final approval for the document, which has been pushed by majority Shiites as well as the faction of Kurds, who are guaranteed a form of autonomy in the draft version.

The announcement came after a day of intense negotiations and rumors of another deadline extension. The original date for a draft constitution to be presented to the National Assembly was Aug. 15. The constitution eventually faces a national referendum.

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Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.