Democracy Practices: The Road to the New Republic
From the speech of President Bashar al-Assad at the auditorium of Damascus University, I understood that Syria is getting ready to amend or change the constitution.
I also understood from the report of the Committee which was formed to prepare a new law on parties, that we are moving quickly and seriously towards a multi-party system and this means that article 8 of the Constitution, which states that the Baath Party is the leader of the state and the society, will necessarily be cancelled.
Another thing I understood from the discussions of the Committee in charge of preparing a new media law – and I am a member of this committee – that we are a few steps away from achieving the dream (the right to knowledge and freedom of the press), just steps away from the cancelling of the Ministry of Information, from the giving up of the domination of the executive authority on media and from the formation of a national higher information council associated with the legislative authority to oversee the media sector which is influential in public opinion trends and in maintaining society’s balance.
Attention should also be paid to the package of decisions and decrees that cancelled the state of emergency, gave up the State Security Court and corrected the stance towards the Muslim Brotherhood.
We shouldn’t also forget the democratic climate created by the committee in charge of organizing the National Dialogue through adopting the policy of opened doors and minds.
We can honestly say that we have started the establishment of a new republic which is a democratic pluralist one that adopts freedom, equality, justice, transparency, equality of opportunities and respect for human dignity as its main pillars, a republic where all forms of monopoly, programmed plunder as well as political, financial or party corruption have no place.
Yes, we have started to establish a new republic worthy of Syria and its people and this is a noble historic, great, difficult but inevitable mission. I almost can hear the roar of the engines that build this republic’s high walls and steel foundations. However, this task can’t be accomplished overnight. It needs the efforts of all the loyal people of Syria, who have provided the evidence that they chose a Syria which is strong with its stability, invincible with its national unity and great with the will of its young people who, during past few weeks, wrote bright pages in Syria’s book of history as they proved that they were armed with awareness and creativity to undermine sedition which had emerged from the satellite channels, infiltrated the earth’s networks and found its way into dark minds in the shape of hatred, killing and bloodshed in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
The Syrian youths armed themselves with awareness and open minds to bury sedition, they bravely challenged the impossible and turned it into a unique renewable energy to pump hope in our hearts. They simply told us: “Open the way for us, we are here”. and like magic, they vanished our fear and spontaneously and honestly formed a strong fence to protect our national unity.
“When I started writing these lines, I was preparing to talk about the features of the new republic and how it must be solid in the face of challenges and difficulties. But, the moment I began writing, the images of the young Syrian people who were there at the right moments to have their say and to restore to us the lost balance, occupied my imagination. Those young people were there in the streets of the Syrian cities and rural areas, on the internet pages and through the media which was miserable without them. They fought fraud and deceit, corrected the whole image for us and found us a way out of the crisis. Their words were like water in a desert after we thought that the joys of life had stolen them from us .. So be careful and don’t read the visions and the inevitable titles of the new republic without or away from young people, the young people on who we exercised our silly superiority and underestimated their great capacities.. Be careful and don’t marginalize this generation who raised our heads high.. Be careful and don’t steal their achievements. By this warning, I meant those who controlled our life in the government and the party for decades and caused great damages to the country and its people, to go out and leave.
It is time for those who failed to achieve any progress to go home in silence. It is time for them to understand the message the first line of which reads: In the new republic, there is no place for those who stole the opportunities of young people, no place for those who created the crisis and lost the solution.
Ali Jamalo is the Chief Editor of Champress