President of Syria

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President of the Syrian Arab Republic
رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية
Seal of the President of Syria.svg
Seal of the President of Syria
Bashar al-Assad (2018-05-17) 03.jpg
Incumbent
Bashar al-Assad

since 17 July 2000
StyleMr President
(informal)
His Excellency
(diplomatic)
Status
Member of
ResidencePresidential Palace
Tishreen Palace
SeatDamascus, Syria
AppointerPopular vote
Term lengthSeven years, renewable once consecutively[1]
Inaugural holderSubhi Barakat (French Mandate)
Shukri al-Quwatli (current constitution)
Formation17 April 1946; 76 years ago (1946-04-17)
DeputyVice President of Syria

The president of Syria, officially the president of the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic: رئيس سوريا), is the head of state of the Syrian Arab Republic. They are vested with sweeping powers that may be delegated, at their sole discretion, to their vice presidents. They appoint and dismiss the prime minister and other members of the Council of Ministers (the cabinet) and military officers.[2] Bashar al-Assad is the 19th and current president of Syria. Bashar Al-Assad is the son of former president, Hafez al-Assad, who was the longest-serving president serving 29 years. Al-Assad is currently the second longest-serving president marking the 22nd year of his presidency in 2022 when he entered the post on 17 July 2000.

Term of office[edit]

Article 88 of the 2012 constitution states that the president serves a seven year term and "can be elected for only one more successive term."[3][4] Article 155 states that Article 88 applies to the president "as of the next presidential elections."[3]

Eligibility criteria[edit]

On 31 January 1973, Hafez al-Assad implemented a new constitution, which led to a national crisis. Unlike previous constitutions, this one did not require that the president of Syria must be a Muslim, leading to fierce demonstrations in Hama, Homs and Aleppo organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the ulama. They labeled Assad as the "enemy of God" and called for a jihad against his rule.[5] Robert D. Kaplan has compared Assad's coming to power to "an untouchable becoming maharajah in India or a Jew becoming tsar in Russia—an unprecedented development shocking to the Sunni majority population which had monopolized power for so many centuries."[6] The main objection to the constitution from demonstrators was that Islam was not specified as the state religion.[7] In response to riots, the Syrian Constitution of 1973 was amended to stipulate that Islam was the religion of the president.[7]

A new constitution was approved in February 2012.[8] Article 84 of Syria's 2012 constitution requires that candidates for the presidency must:[3]

  1. Be at least 40 years old
  2. Be Syrian by birth, of parents who are Syrians 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. Have lived in Syria for 10 years continuously upon nomination

Further eligibility requirements in the 2012 constitution include:[3]

  • The religion of the President of the Republic is Islam; Islamic jurisprudence shall be a major source of legislation; The State shall respect all religions, and ensure the freedom to perform all the rituals that do not prejudice public order; The personal status of religious communities shall be protected and respected. (Article 3, which describes the office of the presidency. The requirements in the section including the age requirement are from the section on the requirements for nomination.)
  • A candidate must be supported by at least 35 members of the People's Assembly (Article 85)
  • The President cannot carry another nationality (Article 152)

Powers and removal[edit]

Powers:[9]

  • Commander in Chief of the army and armed forces
  • Representing Syria in international relations
  • Developing and implementing national policy
  • Appointing and dismissing the Prime Minister and Ministers
  • Creating and overseeing the implementation of general state policy
  • Vetoing or accepting laws
  • Declaring a state of emergency
  • Concluding international treaties
  • Granting amnesty
  • Granting honors and medals
  • Dissolving the People’s Assembly
  • Passing laws when the legislature is not in session or in emergency situations
  • Submitting matters to binding national referendum
  • Drafting laws

Removal[9]

  • Upon submission of resignation to the People’s Assembly
  • At the end of 7-year term if not nominated for re-election, or second 7-year term if re-elected
  • In the case of permanent incapacity or death
  • Upon conviction for high treason by the Constitutional Court after proposal by one-third of Assembly and approval by two-thirds

List of presidents[edit]

Latest election[edit]

CandidatePartyVotes%
Bashar al-AssadBa'ath Party13,540,86095.19
Mahmoud Ahmad MareiDemocratic Arab Socialist Union470,2763.31
Abdullah Sallum AbdullahSocialist Unionist Party213,9681.50
Total14,225,104100.00
Valid votes14,225,10499.90
Invalid/blank votes14,0360.10
Total votes14,239,140100.00
Registered voters/turnout18,107,10978.64
Source: Syrian Arab News Agency[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Article 88 of the Syrian Constitution
  2. ^ "Syria - The President and the Cabinet".
  3. ^ a b c d "Syrian Arab Republic's Constitution of 2012" (PDF). ConstituteProject.org. February 26, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Qordoba - Translation of the Syrian Constitution Modifications 15-2-2012 | Citizenship | Presidents Of The United States". Scribd. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  5. ^ Alianak 2007, p. 55.
  6. ^ Kaplan, Robert (February 1993). "Syria: Identity Crisis". The Atlantic.
  7. ^ a b "Further rioting in Syria reported". The New York Times. February 28, 1973.
  8. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil; Cowell, Alan (February 27, 2012). "Syrians Said to Approve Charter as Battles Go On". The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b "Constitutional history of Syria". constitutionniet.org. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Dr. Bashar al-Assad elected President of the Syrian Arab Republic with the majority of votes". Syrian Arab News Agency. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.

External links[edit]