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The current Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic was adopted on 26 February 2012, replacing one that had been in force since 13 March 1973. The current constitution delineates the basic function of that state's government. Among other things, it determines Syria's character to be Arab,
democratic
democratic
, and
republic A republic ( la, res publica, links=yes, meaning "public affair") is a List of forms of government, form of government in which "power is held by the people and their elected representatives". In republics, the country is considered a "public m ...
an. Further, in line with pan-Arab ideology, it describes the country as a region of the wider Arab world and its people as an integral part of the Arab nation.


History


Early Constitutions

The Syrian Constitution of 1930, drafted by a committees under Ibrahim Hananu, was the founding constitution of the Syrian Republic under the French Mandate. The constitution required the President to be of Muslim faith (article 3). It was replaced by the Constitution of 5 September 1950, which was restored following the Constitution of 10 July 1953 and the
Provisional Constitution of the United Arab RepublicThe Provisional Constitution of the United Arab Republic or the Constitution of 1958 was the constitution for the short-lived political union between Egypt and Syria known as the United Arab Republic (UAR). This 74-article provisional constitution wa ...
. It was eventually replaced by the Provisional Constitution of 25 April 1964 which itself was replaced by the Provisional Constitution of 1 May 1969. It is still like 2011.


Constitution of 1973

A new constitution was adopted on 13 March 1973 and was in use until 27 February 2012. It entrenched the power of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, its §8 describing the party as "the leading
party 300px, '' Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' (1888) by Peder Severin Krøyer, a painting portraying an artists' party in 19th century Denmark A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation ...
in the society and the state", even if Syria was not, as is often believed, a one-party system in formal terms. The constitution has been amended twice. Article 6 was amended in 1981. The constitution was last amended in 2000 when the minimum age of the President was lowered from 40 to 34.


Constitution of 2012

During the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising, a new constitution was put to a referendum. Amongst other changes: * It abolished the old article 8, which had entrenched the power of the Ba'ath party. The new article 8 reads: "The political system is based on the principle of political pluralism, and rule is only obtained and exercised democratically through voting." * In a new article 88, it introduced presidential elections and limited the term of office for the president to seven years with a maximum of one re-election.Constitution of the Syrian Arabic Republic, SANA, 26-02-2012
/ref> The referendum resulted in the adoption of the new constitution, which came into force on 27 February 2012. The constitution guarantees equal rights and opportunities under the law, supplemented by labor laws which guarantee equal pay and maternity benefits for women. Effective power in Syria rests with the President of Syria, President of the Republic (since 2000, Bashar al-Assad, re–elected in 2014), who, according to §84 of the old constitution, was elected in an uncontested popular referendum on the proposal of the Syrian branch of the Ba'ath Party. However, in accordance with the new constitution, other parties withheld an opportunity to assume presidential roles in the country, evident as of the 2014 Syrian election.


Overview

This current constitution was a result of a constitutional referendum held in Syria on 26 February 2012. In response to the Syrian uprising, President Bashar al-Assad ordered a new constitution to be drafted. This constitutional referendum was not monitored by foreign observers. The Constitution is divided into 6 parts (excluding the Introduction) which are called Chapters. * Introduction * Chapter 1: Basic Principles * Chapter 2: Rights, Freedoms and the Rule of Law * Chapter 3: State Authorities * Chapter 4: The Supreme Constitutional Court * Chapter 5: Amending the Constitution * Chapter 6: General and Transitional Provisions


References


External links

* The 1930 Syrian Constitution (in its French version) is integrally reproduced in:
Constitution of Syria (1973)
at the International Constitutional Law (ICL) Project
Constitution of Syria (2012)
(CC-BY-licensed English translation by Qordoba)

(English translation by the Syrian Arab News Agency) {{Constitutions of Asia Constitutions of Syria