Agence France-Presse reports:
Syria’s president decreed a vote this month on a new constitution that would effectively end nearly 50 years of single party rule, state media said, as troops reportedly stormed centres of dissent.
Bashar al-Assad called the ballot for February 26, in a move clearly aimed at placating growing global outrage over the bloodshed.
Under the newly proposed charter, freedom is “a sacred right” and “the people will govern the people” in a multi-party democratic system, state television said.
The new constitution also … prohibits parties based on religion.
Assad, who in April lifted a state of emergency in force since 1963, when his Baath Party took power, has made repeated promises of reforms that have failed to materialise since a popular uprising erupted on March 15.
The embattled president, who succeeded his late father Hafez in 2000, has said the constitution would usher in a “new era” for Syria, SANA state news agency reported.
This is what the U.S. and its allies have said that they want.
But – given that the U.S. government has been consistently planning regime change in Syria for 20 years (and dreamed of regime change for 50 years), and that the U.S., Britain, Qatar and other countries have already started a covert war in Syria – it is uncertain whether democratic elections and a new constitution can avoid a Syrian war involving the West.