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Syrian opposition optimistic over constitution talks

Opinion | 2019-11-04 14:11:42
Syrian opposition optimistic over constitution talks
A 45-member constitutional committee launched it meetings Monday in Geneva. The public is still divided with fears of prolonging the timeframe especially since many of the international resolutions are stalled and regional and international division continues.

The mini-committee approved procedure that allow its work to proceed smoothly and not be disturbed by the extended altercations, with a code of conduct that significantly reduces the rhetoric of disruption, a message that “the resolutions are going to be signed, not obstructed,” citing earlier statements from Russian and Iranian sides and an international guarantee represented by the UN.

“Everyone should know that we will not amending a constitution, but formulating a new one that conforms to the aspirations of the Syrian people,” said Ibrahim al-Jabawi, a member of the Constitutional Committee. “The next five days will be pivotal, as the constitution is its backbone, we have patience and hands outstretched in peace to save Syria and our people."

There are still unresolved discrepancies regarding the meeting hours, and according to leaks, the regime delegation proposed four-hour meetings, while the opposition proposed eight hours with small workshops meeting at the end of its scheduled day. The UN facilitator is likely to exclude the regime’s proposal of the system.

Sources saw that it could be hoped that the regime's delegation would adhere to the 2012 Constitution and its 157 articles. Some of the general paragraphs are agreed upon, pointing out that the most prominent issues will be in the articles of the presidency and its powers and role, which is unnerve the delegation as they considered “sacred”.
Member of the Constitutional Committee and spokesman for the negotiating body, Dr. Yahya Aridhi considered that it is a difficult task as it represents a comprehensive change.

He said that, "The open time may be one of the drawbacks to the committee as it took a long time to form. However, good will and the Syrians’ awareness of the bitterness of nine years and its consequences will allow for unbiased and open ideas for the future of 23 million Syrians.”

Sources in the regime's delegation had referred to a prepared constitution by the opposition team. However, the opposition delegation confirmed that they only prepared readings and discussions of Syrian constitutions with observations that ensure the speedy completion of a constitution befitting Syria and similar to other democratic countries. The regime's delegation did not prepare anything simply adhering to the 2012 constitution, which gives the presidency the powers that led to the division, displacement, destruction, and arrests in Syria.

Hadi al-Bahra, head of the opposition delegation, had previously confirmed that, “The Commission will study all the Syrian constitutions, and will examine all the constitutional contexts in order to draft a modern constitution that fulfills the Syrians’ aspiration to a free and independent homeland that guarantees their liberties and achieves citizenship for all.”

Al-Bahra stressed that the Syrian constitution will be written by Syrians and not by foreigners. There is no ready-made formula, but several projects have been drafted by the Syrians for different regimes that will be discussed to achieve a consensus.
Zaman Al Wasl
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