Posted by Joshua on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
Ibrahim Hamidi, bureau chief of al-Hayat in Damascus, and three other journalists met with vice president Farouq Shara. Here is what he said about article 8 of the constitution, which states that the Baath Party is the leader of Syria’s state and society. It explains President Assad’s “road map” of reforms that should be finalized by the end of year. [The following is a very loose translation of the al-Hayat article. I used Google translation, changed a lot, and erase repetition and filler in the interest of saving time. This is not a word for word translation.]
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Damascus – Ibrahim Hamidi – al-Hayat
Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa explained that Syria must turn the crisis into an opportunity by consolidating «reform» and to become «more democratic».
Sharaa indicated that the «road map» announced by President Bashar al-Assad will lead to a basket of reforms being adopted by the end of the year. This will include a national conference and adopt of the new political party law, election law, media law and new People’s Assembly (parliament) early next month and the formation of a Higher Council for Human Rights. He said: »Let their be political action instead of people trading rumors».
The Syrian Vice President speaks in an interview with four journalists, including Director of the Office of «life» in Damascus after the consultative meeting that took place at the invitation of «the national dialogue» set up by President Assad a few weeks ago. And the holding of «consultation» for three days with the participation of 180 personal parties «Progressive National Front» The Party «Baath», including the heads of trade unions of workers and peasants, students and lawyers, in addition to the independent and opposition figures and youth.
Was issued at the conclusion of the meeting, which was attended by a number of opponents, a closing statement, the 18 items, including that the dialogue is «the only way to end the crisis» and the «stability should be a higher national and a guarantee for deepening reforms,» and to consider the «liberation of the Golan from the national targets which represents a consensus». As requested «dialogue committee» of the relevant committees to prepare draft laws in preparation for release «as soon as possible», and to recommend the establishment of the Commission’s «Constitutional Review PROCEDURE all, and to make proposals to ensure the formulation of modern constitution».
Recent days have seen the issuance of public statements from unions, peasants and students about the consequences of «consultation». The General Union of Peasants stated that “the gains of the masses of the toilers were the result of a long struggle.” The National Union of Syrian Students made a statement that “any review or amendment to the national Constitution or any change or innovation” must be achieved in a democratic fashion that reflects the will of the people according to the rules and constitutional principles.”
The Syrian Vice-President stressed that it is necessary to “defend the gains” that have been made in Syria over the past decades, including in education and health. He explained that what Syria is going through «is not a revolution, but the process of repair and restoration». “There are gains to preserve and errors to fix. The late President Hafez al-Assad had his “corrective movement” (in 1970). Why? At the time, it was not possible to progress without corrective reform.” He added: “We expanded the base of power.” Those who argue that we relinquish past gains are wrong.” …
He said that based on President al-Assad’s speech at the University of Damascus all articles of the Constitution would be subject to review, including the eighth, which states that «the Baath» is the leader in the community and the state…..He added that the Regional Conference for the Tenth Party «Baath» which was held in 2005, included many of the recommendations for reform. He stressed that everyone should support the reform project led by President al-Assad. He noted that many Baathist leaders support the reforms, pluralism and democracy……
The next phase includes a series of steps. It conducted a «dialogue committee» after the end of the «consultation» a number of meetings with Syrian dissidents accept «the dialogue under the roof of the nation», to complete a dialogue with the formation of a preparatory committee for the conference. He also participated in discussions to enter about 70 thousand people, a website devoted to dialogue.
….He explained that the dissidents interviewed by «the dialogue» are not involved in the foreign plots. They want reform, but not the destruction of the country. He expressed his conviction that dialogue leads to the «calming of the street».
Al-Shara said that Syria is «immune to sectarianism». The experiences of the last century and the beginning of the Syrians rejected the attempts of the French mandate to divide the the country. He warned of Israel’s efforts to «play the sectarian card» in the Middle East. He added: «a program of reform to the citizen, make him feel safe. We must fortify the citizen and the nation the national dialogue and reforms ». He compared Syria to the color spectrum, saying that it is difficult to separate any color from the rest of the spectrum. …
Sharaa explained that the US position on its surface seems to be about human rights and democracy, but at its core it is about US national «interests» which are closely connected to those of Israel.
Shara, in response to a question by al-Hayat, stated that there would be a Constitutional Review in the coming months after the formation of a political committee, legally established for this purpose, in parallel with the adoption of draft laws in the coming days. With the return of the People’s Assembly (Parliament) on the 6th of next month, new representative bodies will be elected.