The Stabilization Committee of the Syrian Interim Government held a workshop in the town of Azaz in rural Aleppo to talk about the work of the Constitutional Committee under the title “the voice of civil society in the constitution.”
Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahra, members of the Constitutional Committee, representatives of local government institutions in the liberated areas, and political activists talked in the workshop via a video link.
Representatives of local government institutions put forward their ideas and proposals as they expressed the aspirations of the Syrian people and their vision of the new Syrian constitution, which they said must safeguard human dignity, rights and freedoms.
Members of the Constitutional Committee talked in detail about the work of the Committee and the difficulties they are facing in the first meeting which concluded on Friday.
Al-Bahra talked about the historical context of the political process up to the formation of the Constitutional Committee. He also gave a detailed overview on the progress of the work of the Committee. He said that the work of the Committee concerns every Syrian citizen given that the drafting of a new constitution will shape the future of the country and the shape of the state.
“This will have an impact on our personal lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. Therefore, the biggest possible segment of the Syrian people must be allowed to participate in the work of this Committee,” Al-Bahra said.
Al-Bahra explained that representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee spared no effort to save time; make use of the meetings to come up with tangible outcomes; and stay away from any proposal outside the framework of the Committee. He pointed out that there are attempts to start the work of the next meeting by discussing the provisions of the Constitution.
Moreover, Al-Bahra said that the results of the work of the Committee will serve the interest of all the Syrian people, which is at the heart of the demands of the revolution. He said that these demands include the safeguarding of freedoms and human dignity, pluralism, separation of powers, equal citizenship, human rights, transparency, accountability, among many other demands.
Al-Bahra focused on the need to distinguish between the negotiating stage and the executive stage. “We are now in the negotiating stage. The Syrian Negotiations Commission is ready to negotiate the other three baskets in parallel and in any order.” With regard to the executive stage, he stressed the need to abide by the order set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which is the formation of a transitional governing body that will be responsible for managing the transitional phase to create a safe, neutral environment. After this environment has been created, a referendum on the draft constitution is held and free and fair parliamentary or presidential elections are held in accordance with the constitution and under the supervision of the United Nations.
Al-Bahra stressed that the Constitutional Committee is one of the components of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 which contains four baskets. He pointed out that discussing the Constitution does not mean the reduction of resolution 2254 or the political solution in Syria, but a gateway to it. He added that the coming period will see the discussion of the rest of the baskets, especially the baskets of governance and elections.
Al-Bahra called on the participants in the workshop to support the work of the Committee and contribute actively to the drafting of a new constitution for Syria. He noted that the coming period will see the launch of a website to publish all the points that will be agreed upon in the framework of the Committee and to receive proposals and responses.
He also stressed that the representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee are committed to the principles of the Syrian revolution and the aspirations of the Syrian people. He said that all the Syrian people share these goals, namely achieving freedom, equality and a real political transition as well as the refusal to reproduce the regime. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)