Syria will hold on Sunday a national referendum on a new draft constitution which is seen by authorities as part of a solution to the current political crisis in the country.
The draft document, proposed by embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad, would essentially put an end to nearly 50 years of Baath Party rule and “usher a new era of democratic reforms” in Syria.
About 15 million Syrians are eligible for voting, but with the volatile security situation in the county the actual turnout is unpredictable.
Syrian opposition has called the referendum a “political game” and urged the voters to boycott it.
“The idea of a referendum in light of the current situation is preposterous,” Aref Dalila, one of the opposition leaders, told RIA Novosti.
“It is necessary to stop military operations and violence, normalize the situation in the country and start real political reforms before even talking about the referendum and elections,” he said.
The referendum comes as both Western and Arab nations increased their pressure on the Assad’s regime, calling for an immediate end to bloodshed in Syria, which according to Syrian rights groups has claimed more than 7,000 lives since the beginning of the uprising against the current authorities 11 months ago.
At least 100 people were killed on the eve of the referendum as government forces resumed the bombardment of several opposition strongholds across the country, al-Arabiya reported on Saturday.