MOSCOW, February 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The constitutional referendum in Syria shows that people support the policy of reforms, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, February 26.
“We regard the referendum as confirmation that the policy of reforms enjoys people’s support,” the ministry said. “Obviously, the influence of the opposition groups that called for boycotting the referendum on its eve is limited and does not give them the sole right to speak on behalf of the Syrian people.”
“We urge all Syrian sides to stop violence immediately and begin a dialogue as soon as possible without preconditions in order to ensure constructive participation in the process of reforms and construction of a new Syria in the interests of all of its citizens,” the ministry said.
“According to preliminary information from the Syrian Interior Ministry, 60 percent of Syrian people eligible to vote participated in the referendum. Mass media reports say that the overwhelming majority of them – 89.4 percent – supported the draft. Voting was conducted across the country at 14,500 polling stations. In some places in Homs, Hama and Idlib, armed groups prevented people from expressing their will freely,” the ministry said.
“Moscow considers the referendum as an important step towards implementation the policy of reforms pursued by the Syrian leadership in an attempt to turn Syria into a modern democratic state and broaden the rights and freedoms for its citizens,” the ministry said.
It recalled that “the draft new Syrian Constitution contains a multiparty principle, abolishes the Baas party’s monopoly rule, bans the creation of parties on ethnic, religious or tribal basis... The state undertakes to respect and protect all religious communities. The term of presidential office for one person is limited to two seven-year periods. Any discrimination by sex, origin, faith or language is forbidden.”