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http://www.dailycomet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031119/API/311190777 Shiite Criticizes Iraq Sovereignty Plan By BASSEM MROUE Associated Press Writer A leading Shiite Muslim member of the Iraqi Governing Council expressed reservations Wednesday about the deal to transfer sovereignty to Iraqis by July and complained the agreement on the timetable was signed without enough time for discussion. "The Iraqi people were pushed aside and the Iraqi people should have an important role," Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim told The Associated Press in an interview. "This contradicts the principles of democracy." The comments by al-Hakim, a leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, marked the first time anyone on the 25-member council has publicly expressed misgivings over the sovereignty formula, signed last weekend by coalition administrator L. Paul Bremer and the council president, Jalal Talabani. Al-Hakim's comments could signal problems between the Iraqis and coalition officials as they two sides begin steps to implement the plan. Under the new political plan, Iraq will have by February a "fundamental law" that enshrines human and civil rights, a legislature elected from provincial caucuses by the end of May and a transitional government with sovereign powers by July 1. A new constitution drafted by a constituent assembly chosen in a general election should be in place by the end of 2005. "The situation is of concern for all in the Governing Council," al-Hakim said. "Yesterday and the day before, it was discussed and there's a consensus that this agreement was rushed. Such an important matter as this needs thorough study before signing it." Al-Hakim also said an "important point" will be status of "occupation forces" after the provisional government is formed by the end of June but did not elaborate. U.S. officials have said American and other forces will stay in Iraq after then under an agreement with the new government. He also repeated the longtime Shiite position that the Iraqi people should elect representatives to a conference to draft a new constitution, which must be ratified by the people in a second national vote _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk