SNC Speaker: Syrian People to Decide on Draft Constitution

Speaker of the Syrian National Council Khadija Abbas stated that matters related to adopting a constitution are a sovereign prerogative of Syrians.

Russia’s proposals on a draft of a new Syrian constitution do not bind Syrians to make amendments to the country’s main legislation, since it is Syrian people who will decide on the matter, speaker of the Syrian National Council Khadija Abbas said.

“Those proposals and ideas, presented by friendly Russia, should, in its opinion, help bring together the stances of Syrians. However, they are only ideas and proposals, coming under the title ‘Approaches to the political settlement of crisis in Syria,’ and the discussion on such a level is of political nature. It does not entail any constitutional or legislative changes, unless Syrians themselves agree with the necessity to introduce the amendments to the constitution as part of a political settlement and a way to get the country out of the crisis,” Abbas said.

Matters related to adopting a constitution are a sovereign prerogative of Syrians, Abbas noted.

“The people of Syria are the only ones who adopt a constitution by a national agreement after its draft was developed by Syrian specialists,” she said.

A special committee for reviewing the draft can be appointed by the National Council only if the amendments are introduced by the president or a third of parliament members, Abbas said. The council does not create committees upon ideas proposed by any country, she emphasized.

During the first round of intra-Syrian talks in Astana in January, Russia presented a draft new constitution of the country. By doing so, Russia opened a discussion on future constitution of Syria, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The draft, proposed by Russia, was based on ideas from the Syrian government, opposition and local authorities. It included such changes as removing “Arab” from the republic’s name, removing army from political life, expanding parliamentary power and others.

The draft constitution was presented to the Syrian opposition in order to speed up the process of putting an end to the war in the country, Russia’s envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said in January.




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