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Iraqi Kurds Endure Seven Years Of Waiting for New Constitution

Negotiations continue on a draft new constitution for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which would have the president be selected by the parliament, rather than directly elected by the people, reports Abdel Hamid Zebari. 
Iraqi policemen look at supporters waving the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) flags during a sand storm at a rally ahead of March 7 parliamentarian elections in Kirkuk, 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad, February 23, 2010. Picture taken February 23, 2010.  REUTERS/Ako Rasheed (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
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Iraqi Kurdistan, a semi-independent autonomous region since 1992, has been seeking an endorsement of its constitution for seven years now. Political differences between the ruling and opposition parties, however, have prevented the draft constitution from being put to a referendum after the regional parliament approved the draft in 2009.

The Kurdish region elected a parliament and formed a government independent of Baghdad in 1992. This was done under the protection of the international coalition that was formed to drive the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in 1991. Since Hussein's overthrow in 2003, Iraqi Kurds have participated in developing Iraq's political process and in the writing its federal constitution. Although this constitution provides for a federal region, the two sides have yet to agree on a special constitution for the region of Kurdistan. 

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