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Early Syria elections possible if parties agree on new constitution, says Russia MidEast envoy

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy for the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov in Erbil, Iraq on 30 January 2019 [Ahsan Mohammed Ahmed Ahmed/Anadolu Agency]
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy for the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov in Erbil, Iraq on 30 January 2019 [Ahsan Mohammed Ahmed Ahmed/Anadolu Agency]

An early election in Syria may be conducted if opposing parties in the country can reach an agreement on a new constitution, Russia's special representative to the Middle East and African nations said last week.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday, Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters: "If the parties in Syria agree and the results of efforts are approved, elections can be held within the framework of the new Constitution or the reforms in the Constitution."

Since the Syrian Revolution broke out in 2011 and the regime of Bashar Al-Assad brutally cracked down on protestors, leading to the ongoing decade-long civil war, a key proposal for a solution to the conflict has been the drafting of a new constitution.

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Syrian Constitutional Committee meetings then began in October 2019, facilitated by the UN, and consisting of representatives from both the regime and opposition. Negotiations have constantly stalled, however, and the fifth round of talks in January this year reportedly ended without any progress or adequate engagement by the regime.

Bogdanov's remarks came a week after Al-Assad expectedly won the Syrian presidential elections with 95.1 per cent of the vote, which the opposition and many in the international community labelled fraudulent and illegitimate.

With his fourth seven-year term in power secured, many see his regime's acceptance of a new constitution and early elections as unlikely.

The Russian envoy's statement also comes four years after Moscow drew up a draft constitution for Syria, which was rejected by the opposition and indirectly by the regime.

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyria
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