Syrian constitutional committee a turning point for political solution

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 08.10.2019 00:45

The formation of the Syrian constitutional committee is a turning point for the political solution process of the country, committee member Yaser Ferhan said yesterday.

Ferhan said that the formation of the committee has given a second chance to come up with a political solution to the situation in Syria. "The committee is a window to the political transition, that the people expect," Ferhan said.

Underlining that this formation proves that the regime does not have the legitimacy to govern Syria, Ferhan expressed that the committee will be a platform for the detained civilians to be released and for stopping the violence in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

The newly established Syrian constitutional committee is preparing to meet on Oct. 30 in Geneva, Switzerland, nearly eight years into the nation's devastating war.

The committee is to be made of 150 members, with 50 regime delegates, 50 opposition members and 50 civil society members chosen by the U.N. envoy to Syria.

From the 150 members of the committee, 45 members will be appointed to a smaller committee in equal proportions consisting of the regime, opposition and U.N.-appointed members. The smaller body will draft the constitutional proposals, with the proposals requiring support by at least three-quarters of the larger body.

Ferhan also expressed that the Syrian opposition will never go against the interests of the Syrian people, indicating that a constitution that would not be accepted by the people cannot be written.

"The final draft [of a constitution] would be presented to the confirmation of the people through a referendum," he added.

The members further stated that as the opposition, they are planning to come up with a draft in the next two months.

"We know that the regime will continue its strategy of dragging down and sabotaging the process. Maybe, we might not be able to do anything in these two months [due to regime's possible actions]. Thus, the international committee should come up with the necessary pressure mechanisms to enable the committee to work properly," he underscored. At a summit on Syria hosted by Turkey earlier last month with officials from Russia and Iran, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the participants would urge the constitutional committee to begin work as soon as possible. Ferhan said that "the authority of presenting the constitutional draft to the confirmation will belong to the committee. The integration of the draft to the constitutional system will also be determined by the committee."

He also added that the constitutional draft will be written in accordance with the U.N. resolutions on the issue, which is also compatible with the Sochi deal, which was signed between Turkey and Russia last year. The launch of a process for a new constitution and the formation of the committee started at a conference in Russia in January 2018. Agreeing on the full list of members has taken over 18 months.

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