Sistani-Linked Groups begin Popular Campaign Against Interim Constitution
AFP/az-Zaman On Sunday, Shiite clergymen, cultural figures and notables began an organized campaign against the newly signed interim constitution. It is believed that they are supported in this movement by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. They are encouraging Iraqis to reject the document, and to sign petitions that protest its illegitimacy insofar as it was issued by an unelected body. The petitions will be sent to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the United Nations. The Lawyers’ Guild in Najaf is planning to gather 2 million signatures throughout Iraq. The al-Qadir and al-Murtada Organizations are working to get Iraqis in Najaf to write protest letters. Both are close to Sistani.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, the temporary president of the Interim Governing Council, has travelled to Iran and met Sunday with President Mohammad Khatami. He brought with him two other IGC members and representatives of the ministries of petroleum, trade, health and interior. (- ash-Sharq al-Awsat).