NEW CONSTITUTION OF SYRIA

One of the reasons why the war in Syria has not ended so far is the inability of the warring parties to agree on the post-war arrangement of the country. Although attention to this issue in recent months is given enough.
Unequivocally, the starting point for the establishment of a peaceful life in Syria should be the beginning of the constitutional process. Russia submitted to the Syrians its draft of a new constitution, based on the experience that it is possible to move the negotiations from a dead point only if the conflicting parties have some kind of starting document.
At the same time, representatives of the official Damascus question the very necessity of adopting a new constitution, believing that it is possible to limit oneself with making amendments to the current constitution of 2012. The opposition, in spite of constant disagreements on other issues, devotes a fundamental importance to the elaboration of the new constitution of Syria.
In the course of expert discussions, proposals are also made for the adoption of an interim constitution or a constitutional declaration, in which the terms and procedure for the adoption of a permanent constitution would be clearly outlined.
The permanent constitution of Syria was approved through a general referendum on March 12, 1973 and continued to operate until 2012. The present constitution of 2012 has a number of textual differences from the 1973 Constitution.
The opposition has a number of comments on the method of adoption and the very content of the 2012 Constitution. Approved at a referendum in the face of growing civil conflict, it, according to the opposition, can not be considered a product of national consensus. The Constitutional Commission was formed by appointment. The draft constitution did not pass the stage of public discussion, which in the conditions of armed clashes was hardly possible.
In essence, at the center of the absentee discussions between the government and the opposition, we are talking about such crucial issues for Syria as its future form government and state structure, as well as the nature of the political regime. The solution of these questions by the principle “the winner gets everything” seems impossible. Moreover, such an approach threatens the outbreak of new conflicts.
Informal discussions of this range of issues show that, from all options for further constitutional development, the most preferable is the takeover as the basis of the 2012 Constitution, with a number of significant amendments introduced to it. The adoption of the interim constitution, according to experts, has its advantages, but in the absence of stability guarantees there is a danger of breaking the legal field.
At present, the staff of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations has a lot to do to bring the already worked out and new proposals on the draft constitution of Syria to the common denominator and agree on a sequence of further steps in the context of a political settlement. Return to the status quo until 2011 is not possible – as well as carrying out reforms according to the ideas of the radical part of the opposition, the more Islamistically oriented. The problem is how to find the brink of a compromise that will allow Syria to return to stable development on the basis of a new social contract between the government and society.

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