On Constitutional Reform

On Constitutional Reform

The task of constitutional reform has been, and remains, a national task that imposes itself on the agenda in the context of working towards a comprehensive and consensual political solution in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2254. Hence, the formation of the Constitutional Committee, according to the agreed outputs of Sochi Intra-Syrian National Conference, is absolutely necessary, as it is the guarantee of the desired process of change that is necessary to resolve all the tasks before the country, from ending the humanitarian catastrophe, up to the complete and ultimate eradication of terrorism.

In order to make the desired constitutional reform achieve its hoped-for goal, it should not be a repetition of the outdated constitutions, such as the 1950 Constitution and others. At the same time, it must go beyond the 2012 Constitution, that is, it must be consistent with the necessities of the subsequent developments of the country and the requirements of preserving the integrity and unity of Syrian people and soil, and should be an effective guarantee of the economic, social and political rights of the Syrian people in the new Syria, by providing real power to the people on the state apparatus.

The study of the Syrian experience over the past decades, and the necessities of accomplishing the tasks, whether the old ones, or those created by the crisis years, and the rapid and major changes taking place on the international level, require profound constitutional reform, that secures the following issues:

First: Redistribution of powers of the executive and legislative powers. i.e. the powers of the President of the Republic, the Government, and the Parliament.

Second: Ensuring effective authority of locally elected councils at the provincial and district level, and centrally at the country level, requires a change of the electoral system to a comprehensive proportional system while ensuring voters' right at any moment to withdraw confidence from the elected.

Third: Making a consensus on a new form of administrative decentralization that strengthens the Center by making it give the necessary authorizations for the districts to allow the forces of society to manage their own affairs, including freely electing their councils, taking into account the cultural characteristics of the regions, while keeping the affairs of defence, security, foreign policy, economic and general finance policy, exclusively in the hands of the central power.

As a rule of thumb, it should be emphasized, absolutely and permanently, that the Constitution is a sovereign issue belonging to the Syrian people, and that the final decision on this subject, in both its form and content, belongs exclusively to the Syrian people alone, and no one else.

The introduction of constitutional changes at this level not only opens the door to a rapid exit from the crisis that has ravaged the country for years, but also provides the conditions for expediting the reconstruction of what has been devastated, materially and spiritually, over these years, and the alleviation of massive losses. At the same time, constitutional changes should block whatever might be resulted from the pursuit of war forces, from Washington up to the Zionist entity, and their regional allies, who are creating tensions in the international and regional situation, and seeking, in various ways, for further attrition, and fabricating pretexts for the continuation of the war.

Kassioun Editorial, Issue No 862, May 14, 2018