07:22 GMT +328 March 2017
    A state flag of the Syrian Arab Republic by an Orthodox church in an old Christian block of Aleppo, Syria

    Text of Draft Syrian Constitution Proposed by Russia Revealed

    © Sputnik/ Michael Alaeddin
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    Sputnik has obtained a document of the draft Syrian constitution proposed by the Russian delegation during the Astana talks.

    Earlier in the week, the draft Syrian constitution, prepared by Russian experts, was presented to the Syrian opposition during the settlement talks in the capital of Kazakhstan. Head of the Russian delegation Alexander Lavrentyev underlined that Russia was not interfering in consideration of constitution and presented the draft to the opposition simply in order to accelerate the process.

    Russian constitutional proposals for Syria that were handed over to the opposition during Astana talks suggest that the word "Arab" be removed from the official name of the country, the document obtained by Sputnik, reads.

    "The Syrian Republic is an independent democratic sovereign state based on the principles of people and supremacy of law and equality and social unity and respect of the rights and the liberties of all citizens without any differentiation. The names of the Syrian Republic and Syria are equal," Russian-proposed constitutional draft, obtained by Sputnik, reads.

    The document envisages changing Syria's borders only if the country's nationals support the move via a referendum.

    "Any loss of Syrian territories is not acceptable, change of state borders can only be allowed through a general referendum with the participation of all citizens and on the basis of the desire of the Syrian people."

    Russian proposals for Syria suggest that the Kurdish autonomies can use Kurdish and Arabic languages on equal rights.

    "The Arabic language is the official language and the way in which the official language is used will be specified by the law." "The Kurdish cultural self-ruling systems and its organizations use both the Arabic and Kurdish languages equally," the document reads.

    The documents suggest that the cultural diversity of the Syrian society must be ensured. "Upon the national heritage which promotes national unity, the cultural diversity of the Syrian society will be ensured."

    Moreover, the draft constitution proposed by Russia suggests extension of the Syrian parliament’s powers so that it could declare war, impeach the president and approve the head of the Central Bank.

    "The People’s Assembly will be responsible for … decisions on war and peace issues, the removal of the president from the office, appointment of the members of the Supreme Constitutional Court, appointment of the head of the Syrian National Bank and his dismissal from office."

    The document also suggests the Syrian army not to be allowed to interfere in politics or used as a means of oppression.

    "The [Syrian] armed forces and other armed units are under the society’s supervision and they will protect Syria and its territorial integrity. They should not be used as a means of oppression of Syrian people and interfere in the sphere of political interests. They do not play a role in the process of transition of power."

    The constitutional proposals for Syria suggest that international law should be a priority in case domestic law contradicts it. The document stipulates the supremacy of the international law.

    "The recognized principles and provisions of the international law and Syria’s international treaties are an integral part of its legal system. If an international treaty defines different rules than that of the Syrian law, then the rules of the international treaty will be used."

    Russian constitutional proposals for Syria that were presented to the opposition during Astana talks stipulate that all confessions and nationalities must be given equal representation in the government, the document obtained by Sputnik, reads.

    "The nomination to the posts of Vice Prime Minister and ministers shall adhere to the proportional representation of all ethnic and national factions of the Syrian population, while certain posts shall be preserved for national and sectarian minorities. The president and the prime minister have the right to consult in this regard with the representatives of the People’s Assembly and regions," Russian-proposed constitutional draft, obtained by Sputnik, reads.


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    • avatar
      Syria needs a strong president, not one who can be removed by a bunch of corrupt politicians. Stupid headline by the way.
    • avatar
      Anthony Shaker
      Declaring the "supremacy of international law" over domestic law is a strange way to write a national constitution. It would justify a humanitarian war carried out by anyone, though I am sure the UN is implied here.

      But a role for the UN in the domestic affairs of a country would hardly ameliorate this problem, since the UN Security Council is dominated by the Western states (US, England and France), with Russia and China playing second fiddle and, unfortunately, rarely initiating important resolutions, policies or measures except in self-defence.

      The age of Western dominance, which has lasted a century and a half too long, is coming to an end. With it will go internationalism and globalization both as a cover for Western imperialism and an extension of Western-inspired ideologies.

      Let us hope that international solidarity and global economy will mean something else in the coming period than just another a new name for Western barbarism, of which we have seen enough in the 20th century and with the foreign intervention in Syria.
    • avatar
      What Russia proposed was standard world expectations in democratic nations, it was a ground based suggestion to stimulate progress in the establishment of a new Government principal which would then require a election to take place to enact that new constitution.

      All democracies have the right to impeach a president however in saying that with the ever increasing use of colour revolutions laws surrounding impeachment need clarifying and perhaps strengthening to ensure Presidents are not unwittingly become easy prey from outside intervention.
      Laws should reflect that intervention with harsh penalties and actions made possible to punish perpetrators of illegal coups.
    • avatar
      sterndalerin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
      ivanwa88, I agree. Hurdles for impeachment can be set as high as changing a constitution - like 2/3 or even 3/4. That will prevent some things. Also You can additionally link the impeachment to the consent on a new one. Similar to what Germany has set to the vote of constructive distrust to a Kanzler. If there is no candidate one that has enough trust to replace him/her the old one stays. Because it proves no one has more trust.
    • avatar
      sterndalerin reply toAnthony Shaker(Show commentHide comment)
      Anthony Shaker, Makes sense: Think of the declaration of human rights. Sharia knows no religious freedom. ... UN Security Counsel and UN Charta knows the veto rights of the WW II defenders of global peace. Only that the West has several times threatened to break the UN Charta and thus international law, there is nothing wrong with it. And only that they have broken peace themselves.
    • avatar
      sterndalerin reply todvdgrg09(Show commentHide comment)
      dvdgrg09, There must be safeguards for frivolous impeachment - but I think the democratic presidential system is no as good as the parliamentary model.
    • avatar
      dvdgrg09in reply tosterndaler(Show commentHide comment)
      sterndaler, you may be right under normal circumstances, but here I believe the country is going to need strong central government to overcome the bitterness and hatred among the people, to give it a strong direction so that people know which way it is going to go. When people are starting to heal and maybe even forgive, then let them argue all they like. But democracy can be described as divide and rule, and the country cannot be divided, it has to be united. My feelings from afar anyway.
    • avatar
      sterndalerin reply todvdgrg09(Show commentHide comment)
      dvdgrg09, While I agree with You for a short period - we must bear in mind that constitutional changes are for the future. A hopefully more peaceful one.
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