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The new Syrian constitution: An Assessment

Zaid Al-Ali, 27 February 2012, ConstitutionNet

In response to months of persistent demonstrations, uprisings and violence, the Syrian state has engaged in a number of reforms. In February 2012, a committee of experts that was appointed specifically for the purpose of drawing up a new constitution for the country submitted its final draft to the president. The draft was published shortly thereafter and is set to be put to a referendum within weeks. Sources that are close to Syria’s ruling party have hailed the draft as a major advance towards achieving genuine democracy and satisfying protesters’ demands. Others have retorted that the draft amounts to little more than window dressing and will make little or no difference to the manner in which Syria and Syrians are governed. This short commentary offers some initial thoughts on the draft and where it is likely to lead the country.

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