Russia’s draft constitution to Syrian opposition rejected

Syrian Opposition chief negotiator Mohammed Alloush at Astana, January 2017, (RT)

The Syrian Opposition rejected a draft constitution proposed by the Russian delegation in Astana according to the Interfax news agency.

Russia presented the document in Arabic during a meeting with Opposition negotiator, Mohammed Alloush, at this week’s talks in the Kazakh capital.

Alexander Lavrentyev, the head of the Russian delegation at the Astana talks said Tuesday that the proposal was to expedite the process and not interfere in it.

However Opposition spokesperson, Yahya al-Aridi, citing the US’ experience in Iraq following the invasion of the country, rejected the proposal saying, “We told them that the Syrians are the ones who are entitled to write the constitution.”

The draft proposes a secular constitution with the name of the country being changed from the “Syrian Arab Republic” to the “Syrian Republic.” The strengthening of local government, Kurdish autonomy and the official recognition of different languages is also in the draft, published by Kurdish news agency Rudaw Arabic.

The document limits the President’s term in office to seven years, removes the article stipulating the President has to be Muslim and proposes a sharing of power with regional assemblies.