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Jamil: We are Working on Forming the Wide Representation List of Fifty
Head of Moscow platform of the Syrian opposition, Dr. Kadri Jamil, in an interview with radio «Rozana» today, the 5th of June 2018, said that the lists relating to the Constitutional Committee, which will be submitted to Mr. Staffan de Mistura the, is not the lists of the constitutional committee, but lists of candidates among whom the Constitutional Committee to be chosen later on. Dr. Jamil added: "That is, the Syrian government has given 50 names. There are 50 names to be submitted by the opposition, and there are 50 names from civil society, and those (the latter group) will be named with a contribution by Mr. De Mistura."
Dr. Jamil continued: "Everyone in the opposition should participate in naming the 50 candidates to form an integrated list. After the lists of candidates have been completed, the members of the constitutional committee will be chosen. Therefore, it is important to note that the lists which are being formed today are not the final list of the constitutional committee, but mere proposed candidates from them the list to be chosen".
He pointed out that it is better if the supposed representation ratio is one third equally for each of the regime and the opposition (from those who attended the Sochi Conference [Syrian National Dialogue] ; from the opposition delegation in the Astana negotiations; and from the negotiating commission), and civil society (which would include some specialists and experts). He added that the decisions of the [Constitutional] Committee after its formation should not be taken by majority, but unanimously through consensus. Therefore, the number of participants of any party in the Committee is not important in influencing its work. Hence the importance of ensuring greater representation of the Syrians: proponents, opposition and civil society.
We, in the opposition, are working on forming the list of 50, and seeking to make this list as widely representative as possible, so that it includes the largest possible spectrum, and we do not want to exclude anyone from participating in the constitutional committee. The Syrians, wherever they are located in the previous period (except for those who supported terrorism and engaged with the Zionist enemy) are invited to dialogue. They must learn at worst that they are political adversaries not enemies. Everyone is busily involved in working to form lists to facilitate the task of Mr. De Mistura and the guarantors states to form the constitutional committee.", Jamil added.
Head of the Moscow Platform of the Syrian Opposition considered that the final statement of the Sochi Conference does not prevent the representation of the Negotiating Commission in the Constitutional Committee, where the final statement assumes the existence of the Negotiating Commission but does not give it the right to monopolize the representation of the opposition: "There is delay and wasting time in forming the list of the Negotiating Commission. We hope in the few coming days the Negotiating Commission present its list, but I think that things are going to resolve, everyone is convinced that he can not jump over the Constitutional Committee and every party is required to submit its list".
Dr. Jamil pointed to the need to represent the Kurds in the Constitutional Committee: "We, from the first moment, advocate the presence of Kurds, and those who want to exclude them do not want the unity of Syria. I am with the widest representation of all the spectra of the opposition. This constitution will play a role in the development of Syria for the next 50 years, so the widest variation of Syrians must take part in its discussion and formulation".
On the controversial issue concerning the powers of the Constitutional Committee, where Damascus insists on amending the 2012 constitution, while Sochi's final statement – in its official document which the Russian side conveyed to the UN Security Council - provides for a "constitutional reform", and this includes the adoption of a new constitution, as Dr. Jamil said: "We see, from the implication of Sochi's final statement, that the constitutional committee is a constitutional reform committee, and a constitutional reform committee is amenable to interpretation: it could be an amendment, or a change, but this should be resolved by discussion and negotiation among the Syrians themselves in the Constitutional Committee. Therefore, what the government of Damascus says about only amendment on the 2012 Constitution is its right, and our saying that we want to change the Constitution is also our right. We come to an understanding through discussion and a unanimous resolution through consensus. Therefore, this issue is subject to discussion, and can not be resolved by one party alone before the start of the work of the Constitutional Commission".
Jamil denied that any understandings between some of Sochi attendees means disagreement with others who attended Sochi, after a press release on Russia Today TV channel by Haytham Manna, Head of Qamh Movement, about the existence of coordination between his movement and Al-Ghad movement, and Moscow Platform. In this regard Head of Moscow Platform expressed, in the interview, that: "If some forces decide to coordinate among themselves, does this mean canceling others? It is not necessary that everyone who came to Sochi should make understandings among themselves. The consensus does not mean cancellation or deletion of the others."