Monday, June 17, 2013

Outline of power sharing peace plan for Syria, modified from Lebanon’s Electoral Law, to add to the Annan plan

There are three points to this plan, which I’ll go into much more detail on in my next post.

(1) = A power sharing constitution loosely based on Lebanon's : A referendum on power sharing between Assad’s supporters and opponents involving :

(a) Assad opponents and supporters (or else Sunnis on one side and non-Sunnis on the other, with each non-Sunni group guaranteed a certain proportion) each being guaranteed half the seats in parliament through an electoral law similar to Lebanon’s, which guarantees half to Muslim parties and half to Christian

(b) the Presidency replaced with two co-Presidents or, better, a multi-member Executive Council, to give all factions a share in power proportional to their share of pro or anti Assad votes

(c)  Each half of parliament to indirectly elect one of the two co-Presidents, or half of the members of the Executive Council

(d)  All government decisions requiring unanimity between the co-Presidents or among the ruling council, plus a two-thirds majority vote in parliament and in some cases a referendum also.

If two-thirds of voters vote yes in the referendum, hold elections to establish a government based on these amendments to the Syrian constitution.

(2) = Rebel units becoming Syrian military units : All rebel units who sign up to a ceasefire and the power sharing agreement to be given the option of becoming Syrian government professional army units under their existing commanders if they wish to. (this idea is based on the failure of the Lebanese plan for the disbanding and disarming of all militias, as an alternative to it)

(3) = Quotas for religious/ethnic composition of the military, police and judiciary : The religious composition of the Syrian professional military (including officers at all ranks), police and judiciary to be changed to 50% Sunnis (including 5% Kurds) within 5 years, the other 50% being split by agreed proportions of Alawites, Shia and Christians.

These would be added to the existing 6 point plan drawn up by Kofi Annan

(1) Commit to an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy;

(2) Commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilise the country.

 To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centres, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres.

As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism.

Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with him to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism;

(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause and to coordinate exact time and modalities of the daily pause through an efficient mechanism, including at local level;

(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained, immediately begin organizing access to such locations and through appropriate channels respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons

(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;

 (6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

(Annan of course resigned as UN envoy to Syria, but his peace plan proposals remain good ones)

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