On 30 October in Geneva held the first meeting of the Syrian constitutional Committee to write a new Basic law of the country. He will determine the fate of Assad and Syrian Kurds.The process of formation of the Syrian constitutional Commission, which should determine the political future of the country, took two years. Wednesday, October 30, in Geneva finally held its first meeting. The Commission must draft a new Constitution of Syria, which will determine the fate of the current President Bashar al-Assad and resolve Syrian Kurds and establish order new elections.
Syrian constitutional Commission under the mediation of the UN
Special envoy of the UN Secretary General on Syria, Geir Pedersen, however, believes from the first meeting of the new Commission should not expect too much. She will not be able to resolve the crisis in Syria that might help to overcome the split in Syrian society and to promote mutual trust between the different groups of the population. In addition, it could give impetus to the beginning of an inclusive political process in the country.
UN Secretary-General, antónio Guterres, also very optimistic. The Syrian authorities and the opposition failed to agree on a “balanced, credible and inclusive constitutional Commission” that will work with the mediation of the United Nations, said the Secretary General.
It is important that the project of the new Constitution will work for the citizens of Syria, said the Geir Pedersen. “The draft Constitution will develop the Syrians, not foreigners, and should receive broad approval of the population”, – stressed the special envoy of the UN Secretary General.
What purpose is pursued by Moscow?
The process of appointing members of the constitutional Commission was agreed in January 2018 in Moscow at negotiations of representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition. Thus, of the 150 members of the Commission, the third will represent government, third opposition, and the remaining third of the country’s civil society.
Thus, in the composition of this structure proved to be extremely Syrians, says German journalist and expert on Syria Hellberg Christine (Kristin Helberg). However, without foreign influence did not pass. “For example, Turkey has done everything to ensure that the Commission consisted of representatives of the party of the Syrian Kurds “Democratic Union” (PYD),” explains Hellberg.
Russia, in turn, did not directly influence this process. According to the journalist, the Kremlin is pursuing more ambitious goal: “Moscow hopes that the constitutional Commission formally find a political solution to the conflict, which has long been settled militarily. This should allow the West to negotiate directly with Bashar al-Assad. Only in this case, the West is ready to Finance the reconstruction of the country.”
Will take into account whether the Commission the interests of all social groups in Syria?
The head of Kurdish national Council of Hugo Kamran, who is also a member of the Commission, considers that the absence of foreigners still does not guarantee that a workflow will be required to take into account the interests of all social groups.
In the opinion of Hugo, the percentage of their representatives to the Commission not correspond to the real balance of forces in the country. In addition, between the opposition remain fundamental differences on a number of issues, so they will not always speak with one voice.
Thus in the constitutional Commission they will face a cohesive bloc, formed by the Syrian government. “None of the 50 representatives of the authorities not to deviate from their General course. And the authorities are not serious about drafting the new Constitution, which could become the basis for creating a new political system,” warns Kamran of Hugo in an interview with the online publication Al-Monitor.
Assad does not intend to relinquish power
Can the UN exert a moderating influence on Assad? The permanent representative of Syria to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari speaks to this issue very diplomatically. According to him, Damascus worked on the formation of the constitutional Commission together with the special envoy of the UN Secretary General and other key players. The Constitution is the Supreme legal act of a state reflecting the worldview of its people, the diplomat added.
As noted by Christine Hellberg, statements Jafari fully comply with the rhetoric of the Syrian authorities. The balance of power in Syria remains the Assad government is not ready in the slightest to abandon his power: “Even now, the Syrian delegation formally ready to negotiate, but in fact, the aim of Damascus is only to win the war and strengthen his own power”.
The aim of European politicians – the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland
As for European politicians, they are primarily interested in the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, specifies Helberg. “That’s why they are now pinning their hopes on the Commission,” continues the German journalist.
However, many people tend to greatly overestimate the role of the new structure. The main task of the constitutional Commission – preparation of Syria in democratic elections, says Christine Helberg. The prerequisite for this, however, is the freedom of the press and political expression, and the opportunity without any risk to participate in political and civic life of the country.
However, after 50 years of dictatorship Syria is still very far from this, and without these elements the elections will be just a parody, says Hellberg. According to her, the authorities control all state structures and have ensured that the Syrian society was an atmosphere of fear. “And then the work of the constitutional Commission nothing will change”, – summed up the journalist.