Iraqi Parliament OKs Constitution Delay

8/15/2005 8:28:52 PM

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's parliament agreed to a seven-day extension for leaders to complete a draft constitution, after politicians failed to reach a midnight Monday deadline to agree on the charter.

Parliament adjourned after voting to extend the deadline until Aug. 22, acting on a request from Kurdish leaders for more time.

Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish framers of the charter had reached a tentative deal late Monday, agreeing on issues ranging from oil revenues to the country's name but putting off decision on the most contentious questions - including women's rights, the role of Islam and possible Kurdish autonony.

Efforts to meet the Aug. 15 deadline showed how determined Iraqis are to maintain political momentum under intense U.S. pressure, but their failure to agree was a clear sign that their sharp political divisions are far from over.