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Constitutional Articles for the Presidential Elections

The Syrian Parliament (People's Assembly) has recently adopted – following thorough deliberations- a new law for elections in the Syrian Arab Republic covering Local Administrations, Parliament and Presidency elections. When it comes to the upcoming Presidential Elections, among the Constitutional Articles in the recently approved Elections Law are:

Article 84

The candidate for the office of President of the Republic should:

  1. Have completed forty years of age;
  2. Be of Syrian nationality by birth, of parents who are of Syrian nationality by birth;
  3. Enjoy civil and political rights and not convicted of a dishonorable felony, even if he was reinstated;
  4. Not be married to a non-Syrian wife;
  5. Be a resident of the Syrian Arab Republic for no less than 10 years continuously upon being nominated.

Article 85

The nomination of a candidate for the office of President of the Republic shall be as follows:

  1. The Speaker of the People’s Assembly calls for the election of the President of the Republic before the end of the term of office of the existing president by no less than 60 days and no more than 90 days;
  2. The candidacy application shall be made to the Supreme Constitutional Court, and is entered in a special register, within 10 days of announcing the call for electing the president;
  3. The candidacy application shall not be accepted unless the applicant has acquired the support of at least 35 members of the People’s Assembly; and no member of the assembly might support more than one candidate;
  4. Applications shall be examined by the Supreme Constitutional Court; and should be ruled on within 5 days of the deadline for application;
  5. If the conditions required for candidacy were met by only one candidate during the period set for applying, the Speaker of the people’s assembly should call for fresh nominations according to the same conditions.

Article 86

  1. The President of the Republic shall be elected directly by the people;
  2. The candidate who wins the election for the President of the Republic is the one who gets the absolute majority of those who take part in the elections. If no candidate receives that majority, a rerun is carried out between the two candidates who receive the largest number of votes;
  3. The results shall be announced by the Speaker of the People’s Assembly.

Article 87

  1. If the People’s Assembly was dissolved during the period set for electing a new President of the Republic, the existing President of the Republic continues to exercise his duties until after the new Assembly is elected and convened; and the new President of the Republic shall be elected within the 90 days which follow the date of convening this Assembly;
  2. If the term of the President of the Republic finished and no new president was elected, the Existing President of the Republic continues to assume his duties until the new president is elected.

Article 88

The President of the Republic is elected for 7 years as of the end of the term of the existing President. The President can be elected for only one more successive term.

Article 89

  1. The Supreme Constitutional Court has the jurisdiction to examine the challenges to the election of the President of the Republic;
  2. The challenges shall be made by the candidate within 3 days of announcing the results; and the court rules on them finally within 7 days of the end of the deadline for making the challenges.

Article 90

The President of the Republic shall be sworn in before the People’s Assembly before assuming his duties by repeating the constitutional oath mentioned in Article 7 of the Constitution.

Article 91

  1. The President of the Republic might name one or more deputies and delegate to them some of his authorities;
  2. The Vice-president is sworn in before the President of the Republic by repeating the constitutional oath mentioned in Article 7 of the Constitution.

Article 92

If an impediment prevented the President of the Republic from continuing to carry out his duties, the Vice-president shall deputize for him.

Article 93

  1. If the office of the President of the Republic becomes vacant or if he is permanently incapacitated, the first Vice-president assumes the President’s duties for a period of no more than 90 days of the President of the Republic’s office becoming vacant. During this period new presidential elections shall be conducted;
  2. If the office of the President of the Republic becomes vacant, and he does not have a Vice-president, his duties shall be assumed temporarily by the Prime Minister for a period of no more than 90 days of the date of the President of the Republic’s office becoming vacant. During this period new presidential elections shall be conducted.

Article 94

If the President of the Republic resigned from office, he should address the resignation letter to the People’s Assembly.

Article 95

The protocol, privileges and allocations required for the office of President of the Republic shall be set out in a law.

Article 96

The President of the Republic shall insure respect for the Constitution, the regular running of public authorities, protection of national unity and survival of the state.

Article 97

The President of the Republic shall name the Prime Minister, his deputies, ministers and their deputies, accept their resignation and dismiss them from office.

Article 98

In a meeting chaired by him, the President of the Republic lays down the general policy of the state and oversees its implementation.

Article 99

The President of the Republic might call the Council of Ministers to a meeting chaired by him; and might ask for reports from the Prime Minister and the ministers.

Article 100

The President of the Republic shall pass the laws approved by the People’s Assembly. He might also reject them through a justified decision within one month of these laws being received by the Presidency. If they are approved a second time by the People’s Assembly with a two thirds majority, they shall be passed by the President of the Republic.

Article 101

The President of the Republic shall pass decrees, decisions and orders in accordance with the laws.

Article 102

The President of the Republic declares war, calls for general mobilization and concludes peace agreements after obtaining the approval of the People’s Assembly.

Article 103

The President of the Republic declares the state of emergency and repeals it in a decree taken at the Council of Ministers chaired by him with a two thirds majority, provided that the decree is presented to the People’s Assembly in its first session. The law sets out the relevant provisions.

Article 104

The President of the Republic accredits heads of diplomatic missions in foreign countries and accepts the credentials of heads of foreign diplomatic missions in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Article 105

The President of the Republic is the Commander in Chief of the army and armed forces; and he issues all the decisions necessary to exercise this authority. He might delegate some of these authorities.

Article 106

The President of the Republic appoints civilian and military employees and ends their services in accordance with the law.

Article 107

The President of the Republic concludes international treaties and agreements and revokes them in accordance with provisions of the Constitution and rules of international law.

Article 108

The President of the Republic grants special amnesty and might reinstate individuals.

Article 109

The President of the Republic has the right to award medals and honors.

Article 110

The President of the Republic might address letters to the People’s Assembly and make statements before it.

Article 111

  1. The President of the Republic might decide to dissolve the People’s Assembly in a justified decision he makes;
  2. Elections for a new People’s Assembly shall be conducted within 60 days of the date of dissolution;
  3. The People’s Assembly might not be dissolved more than once for the same reason.

Article 112

The President of the Republic might prepare draft laws and refer them to the People’s Assembly to consider them for approval.

Article 113

  1. The President of the Republic assumes the authority of legislation when the People’s Assembly is not in session, or during sessions if absolute necessity requires this, or in the period during which the Assembly is dissolved.
  2. These legislation shall be referred to the Assembly within 15 days of its first session;
  3. The Assembly has the right to revoke such legislation or amend them in a law with a majority of two thirds of the members registered for attending the session, provided it is no less than the absolute majority of all its members. Such amendment or revocation shall not have a retroactive effect. If they are not amended or revoked, they shall be considered approved.

Article 114

If a grave danger and a situation threatening national unity, the safety and integrity of the territories of the homeland occurs, or prevents state institutions from shouldering their constitutional responsibilities, the President of the Republic might take the quick measures necessitated by these circumstances to face that danger.

Article 115

The President of the Republic might set up special bodies, councils and committees whose tasks and mandates are set out in the decisions taken to create them.

Article 116

The President of the Republic might call for a referendum on important issues which affect the higher interests of the country. The result of the referendum shall be binding and come into force as of the date of its announcement; and it shall be published by the President of the Republic.

Article 117

The President of the Republic is not responsible for the acts he does in carrying out his duties except in the case of high treason; and the accusation should be made through a People’s Assembly decision taken by the Assembly in a public vote and with a two thirds majority in a secret session based on a proposal made by at least one third of the members. He shall be tried before the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Article 152

No person carrying another nationality, in addition to the nationality of the Syrian Arab Republic, might occupy the office of President of the Republic, Vice-president, Prime Minister, deputy prime ministers, ministers, members of the People’s Assembly or members of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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