Jumblat Says Taef Dead, Syria's Baath Replicating Itself with New Constitutionإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Wednesday declared the death of the Taef Agreement which ended the 1975-1990 civil war in Lebanon, calling on Syria’s ruling Baath Party to leave power.
At a seminar organized by the Friends of Kamal Jumblat Association on the topic of “The Rise of Islamists and Fundamentalism to Power in the Arab Countries”, Jumblat reassured that “the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya -- which were liberated from the chains of the regime -- are not in danger.”
“But we fear for Syria, where we heard about a miracle today, which was the issuing of a new constitution and abolishing Article 8” of the old constitution, which stipulates that the ruling Baath Party is the “leader of the state and society.”
“The Baath Party is replicating itself and the best thing for it to do is to step down,” Jumblat added.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has decreed to hold a referendum later this month for a new constitution that would effectively end nearly 50 years of single party rule, state media said Wednesday.
"President Bashar al-Assad issued today a decree setting Sunday, February 26, as the date for the referendum on the proposed constitution," the official SANA news agency reported.
Assad has said the constitution would usher in a "new era" for Syria, the agency reported.
Under the new charter, freedom is "a sacred right" and "the people will govern the people" in a multi-party democratic system based on Islamic law, state television reported.
Criticizing Russia and China, which have recently used a rare double veto at the U.N. Security Council to block a resolution condemning Assad’s brutal crackdown on dissent, Jumblat said the two countries want Assad to remain in power in order to preserve their interests.
“They have refused any Yemen-style settlement and the situation will become worse should the bloodshed persist,” he added.
Addressing the Lebanese situation, Jumblat said: “The Taef Accord is dead, we need a ‘new Taef’ between the Sunnis and the Shiites, hence a new settlement.”
However, he reassured: “We don’t fear a civil war and we don’t foresee a civil war and there is dialogue among the Lebanese.”
Jumblat’s remarks come one day after ex-PM Saad Hariri reiterated adherence to the 1989 Taef Accord during the rally held by the March 14 forces to mark the seventh anniversary of the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri.