Syria's main opposition draws up post-war 'road map'

Syria's main opposition draws up post-war 'road map'
2 min read
29 October, 2018
The High Negotiations Committee presented on Monday a road map and guidelines to write a new post-war Syrian constitution.
Naser al-Hariri, head of Syria's High Negotiations Committee, in Geneva [Getty]

The Syrian opposition on Monday presented a "road map" to peace, including steps to be taken ahead of an election and guidelines for a plan to write the country's post-war constitution.

The document, drawn up by representatives of the opposition invited to Rome by the Catholic Sant'Egidio community, will be presented to key players in the conflict - from Russia to Turkey and the EU - over the next few weeks.

The leaders of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany on Saturday called for a political solution to the devastating seven-year civil war and a lasting ceasefire in the last major rebel-held bastion of Idlib.

Their statement called for a committee to be established to draft Syria's post-war constitution before the end of the year, "paving the way for free and fair elections" in the war-torn country.

A rival UN plan for a committee to write the constitution ran aground last week, with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura saying Damascus rejected the UN having a role in the selection process.

The "road map", presented Monday by the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main opposition force, as well as several minor groups, details the shape a new government and parliament could take.

It calls for the make-up of the committee to "reflect the composition of the country" and says all "arrangements/rules/law aiming at dissolving/obstructing/impeding the political activities of the opposition" must be scrapped.

The commission, within a nine-month timeframe, should not only prepare the constitution but also draft party and electoral law.

A new transitional government should organise general and presidential elections through an election commission set up by the committee under the supervision of the UN, it said.

It also called for a "general amnesty" and the "abolition of all laws, legislations and procedures aimed at prosecuting and punishing the participants of the events in Syria" since 2011, as well as the safe and voluntary return of refugees.

More than 500,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria's war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-regime protests. 

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the Assad regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.

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