Referendum on 26th February
President Bashar Al-Assad has announced that there will be a referendum on 26th February to decide the future constitution of the country.
The President has proposed changes to the current constitution which would allow for multi-party elections (currently only the Ba’ath Party is recognised). Any future party could not be based on religion or regional interests. The new constitution will also allow for a president to serve up to two seven year terms, but that person must be a Muslim. The proposal is to hold elections within 90 days if the referendum is passed.
The opposition to the current government rejected the proposal, the Americans called it laughable and the Russians welcomed the idea. It is difficult to see how any meaningful referendum can be held whilst the armed forces are using tanks and aircraft to put out a full scale rebellion across the country.