The proposed D.C. statehood constitution, which cleared the hurdle of voter approval in Tuesday's balloting, still faced an uncertain future yesterday as city politicians gave differing views on what the next step should be in the District's quest to become a state.

The document was approved by voters in six of the city's eight wards and passed with a total vote of 60,333 in favor and 53,914 opposed, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Before Tuesday's referendum, the constitution had gained only lukewarm support from city leaders -- many of whom qualified their calls for its passage with promises to seek major revisions in the document before it was formally submitted to Congress for ratification.

Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.), who has been sharply critical of what he called "crippling" provisions in the 18,000 word document, said yesterday that he wanted the city to send the constitution to Congress quickly so that public hearings could be held to amend the measure.

But Mayor Marion Barry, who said at a press conference yesterday that he voted "very reluctantly" for the document and who has statutory authority to send the constitution to Congress, said he has not yet decided when he would do that.

D.C. City Council member David A. Clarke (D-Ward 1), a lawyer who was elected Tuesday to become council chairman beginning Jan. 3, said that legally "it is very unclear whether the Congress or the council" should lead the effort to make changes.

Clarke said that regardless of who makes the changes, any amendments to the document would have to be submitted for voter approval in a subsequent referendum.

Clarke said he, Fauntroy and Barry would have to work out how the constitution will be treated to avoid infighting over it, including possible skirmishes involving the 45-delegate D.C. Statehood Convention, which drafted the document and which would be granted some authority to change it under legislation pending before the council.

"I've got to talk with Walter. I'd rather the council and not the convention do the amendments," Clarke said.

In a separate interview, Fauntroy said he would not object to the council's holding hearings and proposing amendments but stressed that the city should send the document to Capitol Hill quickly.

Fauntroy said that allowing Congress to help decide on amendments would result in only one additional referendum on the issue because the amendments would be sure to meet congressional requirements. He said amendments put before the voters without congressional approval could result in Congress' requiring still more changes that would force a third referendum.

Clarke also said that Barry should send the constitution to the Hill soon, but was uncertain what form the amendment process should take.

In the last weeks of the campaign, Barry, Fauntroy and several council members urged voters to approve the controversial draft constitution as a step toward statehood, but at the same time promised to seek changes in the document.

But Barry said yesterday he did not focus on how those changes should be made because he believed the constitution had a good chance of being rejected by the voters, which would have sent it back to the convention for possible revision.

Clarke said he was very concerned about different amendments being made by different panels that could be empowered to modify the document -- the council, Congress, and the convention.

"What happens if they make amendments that are inconsistent?" Clarke said. "The council is not clamoring to do this make amendments . In fact, it was upon the invitation of the convention and only upon the invitation of the convention that it agreed" to play a role in the amendment process.

The 45 Statehood Convention delegates, elected to three-year terms last November, have been criticized by many city leaders, statehood supporters and Road to Statehood Still Uncertain By Tom Sherwood Washington Post Staff Writer

The proposed D.C. statehood constitution, which cleared the hurdle of voter approval in Tuesday's balloting, still faced an uncertain future yesterday as city politicians gave differing views on what the next step should be in the District's quest to become a state.

The document was approved by voters in six of the city's eight wards and passed with a total vote of 60,333 in favor and 53,914 opposed, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Before Tuesday's referendum, the constitution had gained only lukewarm support from city leaders -- many of whom qualified their calls for its passage with promises to seek major revisions in the document before it was formally submitted to Congress for ratification.

Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.), who has been sharply critical of what he called "crippling" provisions in the 18,000 word document, said yesterday that he wanted the city to send the constitution to Congress quickly so that public hearings could be held to amend the measure.

But Mayor Marion Barry, who said at a press conference yesterday that he voted "very reluctantly" for the document and who has statutory authority to send the constitution to Congress, said he has not yet decided when he would do that.

D.C. City Council member David A. Clarke (D-Ward 1), a lawyer who was elected Tuesday to become council chairman beginning Jan. 3, said that legally "it is very unclear whether the Congress or the council" should lead the effort to make changes.

Clarke said that regardless of who makes the changes, any amendments to the document would have to be submitted for voter approval in a subsequent referendum.

Clarke said he, Fauntroy and Barry would have to work out how the constitution will be treated to avoid infighting over it, including possible skirmishes involving the 45-delegate D.C. Statehood Convention, which drafted the document and which would be granted some authority to change it under legislation pending before the council.

"I've got to talk with Walter. I'd rather the council and not the convention do the amendments," Clarke said.

In a separate interview, Fauntroy said he would not object to the council's holding hearings and proposing amendments but stressed that the city should send the document to Capitol Hill quickly.

Fauntroy said that allowing Congress to help decide on amendments would result in only one additional referendum on the issue because the amendments would be sure to meet congressional requirements. He said amendments put before the voters without congressional approval could result in Congress' requiring still more changes that would force a third referendum.

Clarke also said that Barry should send the constitution to the Hill soon, but was uncertain what form the amendment process should take.

In the last weeks of the campaign, Barry, Fauntroy and several council members urged voters to approve the controversial draft constitution as a step toward statehood, but at the same time promised to seek changes in the document.

But Barry said yesterday he did not focus on how those changes should be made because he believed the constitution had a good chance of being rejected by the voters, which would have sent it back to the convention for possible revision.

Clarke said he was very concerned about different amendments being made by different panels that could be empowered to modify the document -- the council, Congress, and the convention.

"What happens if they make amendments that are inconsistent?" Clarke said. "The council is not clamoring to do this [make amendments]. In fact, it was upon the invitation of the convention and only upon the invitation of the convention that it agreed" to play a role in the amendment process.

The 45 Statehood Convention delegates, elected to three-year terms last November, have been criticized by many city leaders, statehood supporters and other groups for writing a document considered too politically unorthodox to win the necessary approval of Congress.

Provisions most often cited during the campaign included one that could require the new state to guarantee a job or adequate income to all residents and another that could allow police and firefighters to strike.

Besides any amendments that may be voted on next year, District voters are scheduled to elect two "senators" and a "representative" who would officially represent the city in its lobbying for statehood on Capitol Hill.

Only two wards voted to reject the document in Tuesday's balloting. In Ward 3 west of Rock Creek Park, voters opposed the constitution by a margin of more than 4 to 1, while residents of Ward 2, which includes Dupont Circle and sections of Georgetown, Southwest and the central city, rejected it by a margin of only about 600 votes out of about 12,000 cast.