Democracy delayed

Democracy delayed
: The signing of Iraq’s constitution — the first truly democratic constitution in the Arab world — has been delayed because Ayatollah Sistani thinks he’s in charge:

Shia members of Iraq’s governing council refused to sign the interim constitution at the last minute today, delaying a signing ceremony.

The delay came after Iraq’s leading Shia cleric rejected parts of the document, Iraqi officials said.

The council agreed to the accord unanimously on Monday. But Ayatollah Ali Sistani rejected provisions put into the text at the Kurds’ request to protect their self-rule area in the north, according to a source in the council.

Also in dispute was a clause outlining the nature of the presidency in the future government, a Shia official said. The Shia were reviving a demand that would allow them to dominate the presidency, he said.