‘’The Voice of the Local Community in the Constitution’’ Jarablus-15th January 2020

The Stabilization Support Unit continues to hold workshops in the context of the “the Voice of the Local Community in the Constitution”. On Wednesday,15th January 2020 a workshop was held in Jarablus in participation of the Co-chairman of the constitutional committee Mr. Hadi Albahra, the head of Free Aleppo Provincial Council, some members of The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, Local Councils, CSOs – NGOs and activists to discuss with the Co-chairman Mr. Hadi and hear from him about the political paths of Syria and the constitutional committee.
The Workshop was proceeded by another introductory/preparatory workshop which was held last week in Jarablus as well to discuss the political paths of Syria, the importance of the constitution, and the form of the state – where the participants were introduced to what previously happened in the political solution paths of Syrian till we reached the constitutional committee phase.

The workshop consisted of three sections :

▪ The first section: Where an explanation made about the political processes, the four baskets of Staffan De Mistura, the constitutional committee, and the effects of the military escalation of the regime on the political processes.
▪ The second section: Where analytical results of the questionnaires that carried out by the Stabilization Support Unit in the previous workshops presented. The questionnaires that were filled individually and as groups
▪ The third section: Was about the role of the local councils and the local community in the constitutional process, what the community wants from the constitutional committee (what are their aspirations requests and hopes) and what the constitutional committee wants from the local community.

The Workshop started by welcoming, introducing the attendees, introducing the goals and the agenda of the workshop, and then an introductory video on the systems of government and the powers was shown.
Clic k the imageto watch the introductory video on the systems of government and the powers:

Then Mr. Hadi Al-Bahra gave an extensive explanation that included his answers to the most frequently asked questions, such as is our problem is the Constitution? – Did you violate the rules and decisions of the Security Council and the four baskets of Staffan De Mistura?
Mr. Hadi started his explanation about the constitution, explaining that the cause of the problem in Syria is not only in the constitution, but also in its application and the powers granted to the president (legislative and judicial). And in that the constitution is not reinforcing the principle of separates the powers, thereby legitimizing tyranny and authoritarianism. And he provided explanation on the four baskets of Staffan De Mistura that come in an order; the first of which is governance (Transitional Governing Body), the second is the drafting of a new constitution, the third is the holding of free and fair elections (with participation the Syrians abroad after creating the constitution under the supervision of the United Nations), and the fourth is the strategy for combating terrorism.
He said that people are in confusion and mixing between the current negotiating process and the implementation phase that will be later. The Syrian Negotiation Commission has no objection to negotiate the constitution or any basket of the 4 baskets first, because agreement on one basket does not mean scrapping the other baskets and there will be no agreement on anything unless agreement reached on everything (no implementation will be unless there is agreement on everything), and therefore agreement on the draft constitution, if completed, is not sufficient unless the rest of the baskets are agreed upon as well.
Then Mr. Hadi moved to explain the Constitutional Committee and how it was formed. He said “the proposal of Russia and the regime was that the constitutional committee be formed by the regime and the constitution be presented to the current People’s Assembly of the regime to be approved” and that their proposal was rejected by the opposition.

He said this constitutional committee was not formed by the regime, but by the United Nations, and that it carries out its work under its umbrella and its authority is the decisions of the United Nations Security Council, and that the constitution will not be presented to the People’s Assembly of the regime for approval.

Then an open discussion took place and the participants provided their opinions, asked their questions and inquiries. One of the participant’s question was; will the constitution be similar to Bremer’s constitution?
Mr. Hadi’s answer was that the Syrian constitution would be written by the Syrians only as the Syrian people wanted, and we would not accept otherwise.
‘’The continuous attack and the violations committed by the regime in Idlib and other regions are an attempt by the regime to escape from the political process’’ Mr. Hadi Said. And continued his explanation saying the regime is keen from the beginning to delay the political process and does not want a constitutional committee and tries to sabotage it and blamesthe opposition for that as the regime is forced to be in the political process and cannot withdraw from it. He said in one of the sessions of the constitutional committee the regime delegation refused to participate and set preconditions that they called national pillars.

After that, the results of the individual and group questionnaires that the Stabilization Support Unit carried out in previous workshops were presented.
The questionnaires included six open ended questions, the most similar or common answers were collected, analyzed and presented.

The conditions mentioned b y the participant s fo r participation in the constitutional referendum:

1- Securing a safe environment to ensure the participation of all Syrians
2- If there is transitional governing body
3- Existence a safe and neutral environment and the existence of international auspices
4- If the work is done according to the Geneva Sequence and Resolution no 2254
5- The integrity and supervision of the referendum under international auspices

A discussion took place between the participants and
from their interventions their positive attitude
towards the Constitutional Committee and its
members was clear.
The participants made some suggestions and
recommendations to increase communication with
constitutional committee, below are their
1- To conduct such sessions periodically.
2- To launch a television channel to broadcast the
new developments regarding the work of the Constitutional Committee and hold debate programs to
contribute to spreading awareness
3- To establish permanent channels of communication with local councils and forming specialized
committees in the local councils that contribute to raising the awareness of the local community.
4- Intensifying field visits to inside Syria.
5- To target the youth and spread awareness among them.

Please Click the photo below to watch the video of the workshop:

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