Syrian Expert House Holds Meeting in Daraa

Daraa Local Council Members Discuss Syria Transition Roadmap

 

Washington, DC – Members of the Syrian Expert House held a meeting in the city of Daraa in southern Syria to discuss Syria Transition Roadmap, a report published by the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies presenting a comprehensive and consensus vision of the Syrian opposition on the democratic transition in Syria.

 

On April 1, 2014, representatives of various local councils in Daraa, civil and social workers, and local activists, in addition to the board of education, gathered at the headquarters of the “Sons of Daraa” Council to learn about and discuss Syria Transition Roadmap.

 

The lecture began with a summary of the primary recommendations of the Roadmap and an overview of the six working groups of the Syrian Expert House: constitutional reform, political and administrative reform, electoral reform and political parties law, security sector reform transitional justice and national reconciliation, and economic reform. Attendees discussed in detail means for drafting and approving a new Syrian constitution and conducting a comprehensive transitional justice program. Representatives of the Daraa local councils were particularly interested in the Roadmap’s recommendations on political and administrative reform.

 

An open discussion followed the lecture in which most of the questions focused on why the Syria Transition Roadmap recommends the adoption of the 1950 Constitution during the transitional phase. The Syrian Expert House explained to attendees that the 1950 Constitution was the only constitution to be drafted via a constituent assembly and approved through a national referendum and the only constitution to grant broad powers to the Syrian parliament. The remainder of the discussion addressed transitional justice, national reconciliation, accountability, and preventing impunity. The Syrian Expert House described the mission of the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice and outlined for attendees its current activities and future plans. When asked about the compatibility of Islamic law to the democratic transition, the Syrian Expert House explained that the Roadmap’s recommendations do not conflict with Islamic jurisprudence. In fact, Syria Transition Roadmapfocuses specifically on guaranteeing the rights that have been denied to Syrians for past 50 years. At the conclusion of the meeting, the participants commended the Syrian Expert House for its efforts to educate the Syrian people on the democratic transition in Syria.

 

Syria Transition Roadmap is the result of a year-long consensus-building research process conducted by the Syrian Expert House, a group of approximately 300 Syrian human rights activists, academics, judges, lawyers, leaders of the political opposition, defected government officials, defected military officers, members of local revolutionary councils, and commanders of the armed opposition.