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Rudaw

Syria

Syrian draft constitution recognizes Kurdish language, no mentions of federalism

By Rudaw 26/1/2017
The official flag of the Kurdish region in Syria, also known as Rojava. The Kurdish authorities have established their own cantons, and have proposed a draft constitution late December, which notably dropped  the Rojava word from the official name of the region, instead  proposing a name which they claim will be more  inclusive. It calls itself the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria. Photo: AFP
The official flag of the Kurdish region in Syria, also known as Rojava. The Kurdish authorities have established their own cantons, and have proposed a draft constitution late December, which notably dropped the Rojava word from the official name of the region, instead proposing a name which they claim will be more inclusive. It calls itself the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria. Photo: AFP
ASTANA, Kazakhstan— A Russian-proposed draft of the Syrian constitution falls short of mentioning federalism as a system of governance in the war-torn country, but hints at larger cultural and administrative freedoms within a decentralized Syria, according to a draft which was prepared by Russian constitution experts for the Astana talks.
 
The draft was presented to Syrian peace-makers during the two day meeting in the Kazakh capital which ended Tuesday with so far little tangible achievements.
 
According to the draft, which Rudaw has seen, the official name of the country will be changed from Syrian Arab Republic to the Syrian Republic with Kurdish as an official language in mainly Kurdish inhabited regions of the country.
 
The proposed constitution does not see Islamic laws as the “main source of legislation” in the country although Islam will remain one of the sources. There are no religious criteria for the president of the country, who could only be elected to office for one term of 7 years, which means that non-muslim candidates could run for the post and be elected, according to the draft.
 
The current constitution, from 1964, specifically indicates that only a Muslim could hold the office of presidency.
 
Russia has in the past shown solid support for a federal system in Syria where Kurds could enjoy their regional sovereignty within a unified country. Russian officials last year openly announced that only federalism could hinder Syria from partition.
 
But the proposed draft avoids direct mentions of a federal system while suggesting a “decentralized Syria” where regional assemblies, called “people’s societies”, have legislative and administrative powers.
 
If approved by the rivalling parties, the draft will be put to a referendum no later than a year followed by elections.
 
The Kurdish ruling factions which were mainly absent from the Astana talks, have so far not commented on the draft.

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Hejar | 26/1/2017
With all do respect to my Kurdish brothers and sisters outside KRG but the KRG flag is by far the best one. It's a unique flag unlike any with the symbolic sun in the middle, underscoring the Kurdish people's true heritage. All should adopt that flag in my humble opinion. Beyond that, I don't believe Kurds should get behind anything that doesn't allow them to self-govern Kurdish areas. Forget Arab lands, stay separate from them in order to clearly define the Kurdish people in Rojava and set the foundation for a future independent state.
Brzoo Kurdi
Brzoo Kurdi | 26/1/2017
The draft constitution is written by a group, who have lost power and control , for that very reason it is laughable , we must not be deceived by laughable compromise ..., if you want to know a man, give him power , and he will show himself as he is.
Mohamedzzz | 26/1/2017
I always said. Thank's to Turkey's patronage in the end Kurds are going to get the short side of the stick, and that's what they are getting now.
Muraz Adzhoev | 26/1/2017
The main goal of Russia's "Astana initiative" is to get more time and opportunities to be prepared to coming bilateral political, diplomatic and military negotiations with USA on deadly failed Syria and Iraq. Turkey and Iran will be considered just as mportant "back-vocal" observers. Syria and Iraq will be divided according to US-Russia proposed military, political and administrative plan, which is to be implemented under supervision of UN SC. Southern Kurdistan and Wrstern Kurdistan will be reintegrated to establish sovereignly independent democratic and secular Kurdistan with no places and rooms for anti-Kurdish entities like PKK-PYD in it.
ANTI CAMEL JOKERS | 26/1/2017
CAMEL JOKE KURDS ARE THE ONES RECOGNIZING CAMEL RIGHTS NOT THE OPPOSITE. FUCK ALL CAMEL INFESTED DONKEY ISLAMIC BELIEVERS.
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