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What’s Next for Iraq’s Government

August 14, 2005

DRAFTING A CONSTITUTION: Parliament meets Monday at 10 a.m. EDT to see if its committee has finished the draft constitution by the deadline. The deadline for requesting an extension already passed on Aug. 1. Parliament can either sign off on the draft, amend the interim constitution to set a new deadline to finish it or be dissolved.

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REFERENDUM ON NEW CONSTITUTION: After Parliament approves the draft, Iraqis must vote on the proposed constitution in a referendum by Oct. 15. The draft constitution will be ratified if approved by a majority of the voters, and if it is not rejected by two-thirds of the voters in three or more provinces.

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NEXT ELECTIONS: Under current deadlines, if the constitution is approved, elections for a permanent government will be held by Dec. 15, and the new parliament and government must assume office by Dec. 31. If voters reject the constitution, the National Assembly will be dissolved and a new transitional assembly and government will be elected in December to work on a new constitution.

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