Powers of the State

Part 1 Legislative Power

Article 50 People's Assembly
(1) The People's Assembly assumes legislative power in the manner defined in this Constitution.

(2) The members of the People's Assembly are elected by general, secret, direct, and equal ballot in accordance with the provisions of the election law.

Article 51 Term
The People's Assembly is elected for 4 years beginning on the date of its first meeting. This term can be extended by law only in the state of war.

Article 52 Representation
A member of the People's Assembly represents the whole people. His mandate may not be limited by any restrictions or conditions. He must exercise his mandate guided by his honor and conscience.

Article 53 Membership
The law defines the electoral districts and the number of the members of the People's Assembly, provided that at least half their number are workers and peasants. The law defines the terms: worker and peasant.

Article 54 Voters
Voters are citizens of at least 18 years of age who are listed in the civil status register and who meet the conditions specified in the election law.

Article 55 Election, Referendum
The law provides for elections and plebiscites. It defines the conditions to be met by members of the People's Assembly.

Article 56 State Worker Candidacy
State workers, including public sector workers, may nominate themselves for membership in the Assembly. Except in the cases defined by law, the elected member may take a leave in order to join the Assembly. His position or work is reserved for him and the period of leave is regarded as active duty.

Article 57 Electoral Guarantees
The election law must include provisions guaranteeing:

1) Freedom of the voters in electing their representatives and integrity of the election.

2) The right of the candidates to watch over the voting.

3) Punishment for those who tamper with the will of the voters.

Article 58 Continuous Assembly
(1) The elections are to be held within 90 days following the date of the expiration of the Assembly's term.

(2) The People's Assembly reconvenes in accordance with the law if no other Assembly is elected. It convenes after the lapse of 90 days and remains in office until a new Assembly is elected.

Article 59 Vacancies
If a seat becomes vacant for any reason, a member is elected to this seat within 90 days after the vacancy, provided the remaining period of the Assembly's term is not less than 6 months. Membership of the new member ends with expiration of the Assembly's term. The election law defines the conditions of membership vacancies.

Article 60 First Meeting
(1) The People's Assembly is invited to meet by a decree issued by the President of the Republic within 15 days beginning on the date of the announcement of the results of the elections. The Assembly meets in accordance with the law on the 16th day if no decree is inviting the Assembly to hold a session.

(2) At its first meeting, the Assembly elects its President and the members of its secretariat.

Article 61 Sessions
The People's Assembly is convened in three ordinary sessions yearly. It may also be convened in extraordinary sessions. The Assembly's table of organization sets the dates and periods of the sessions. The Assembly is invited to meet at extraordinary sessions by a decision of the President of the Assembly, at the written request of the President of the Republic, or at the request of one-third of the members of the Assembly.

Article 62 Electoral Control
The People's Assembly rules on the validity of the membership of its members if it is challenged in light of investigations undertaken by the Supreme Constitutional Court within one month of the Assembly's notification of the Court's verdict. A member's membership in the Assembly is invalidated only by a majority vote of its members.

Article 63 Oath
Before assuming office, each member of the Assembly publicly takes before the Assembly the oath specified in Article 7.

Article 64 Remuneration
The compensations and allowances for the members of the Assembly are defined by law.

Article 65 Internal Organization
The People's Assembly lays down its internal organization to regulate the mode of work and the manner of carrying out its duties.

Article 66 Indemnity
Members of the Assembly are not accountable before criminal or civil courts for any occurrences or views they express, in voting in public or secret sessions, or in the activities of the various committees.

Article 67 Immunity
Members of the Assembly enjoy immunity throughout the term of the Assembly. Unless they are apprehended in the act of committing a crime, no penal measures can be taken against any member without the advance permission of the Assembly. When the Assembly is not in session, permission must be obtained from the President of the Assembly. As soon as it convenes, the Assembly is notified of the measures taken.

Article 68 Incompatibility
(1) An Assembly member may not take advantage of his Assembly membership in any activities.

(2) The law defines the activities which are incompatible with membership in the Assembly.

Article 69 President, Guard
(1) The President of the People's Assembly represents, signs, and speaks on behalf of the Assembly.

(2) The Assembly has a spacial guard which accepts the orders of the President of the Assembly. No other armed force may enter the Assembly building without permission of the President of the Assembly.

Article 70 Membership Rights
The members of the Assembly have the right to propose bills and address questions and inquiries to the cabinet or any minister in accordance with the Assembly's internal organization.

Article 71 Powers
The People's Assembly assumes the following powers:

1) Nomination of the President of the Republic.

2) Approval of the laws.

3) Debate of cabinet policy.

4) Approval of the general budget and development plans.

5) Approval of international treaties and agreements connected with state security; namely, peace and alliance treaties, all treaties connected with the rights of sovereignty or agreements which grant concessions to foreign companies or establishments, as well as treaties and agreements which entail expenditures of the state treasury not included in the treasury's budget, and treaties and agreements which run counter to the provisions of the laws in force or treaties and agreements which require promulgation of new legislation to be implemented.

6) Approval of general amnesty.

7) Acceptance or rejection of the resignation of a member of the Assembly.

8) Withholding confidence in the cabinet or a minister.

Article 72 Vote of No Confidence
Confidence may not be withheld without the interrogation of the cabinet or a minister. A request for withholding confidence has to be made in accordance with a proposal submitted by at least one-fifth of the members of the Assembly. Confidence in the cabinet or a minister may be withheld by a majority of the members of the Assembly. In the event of no confidence in the cabinet, the Prime Minister must submit the cabinet's resignation to the President of the Republic. A minister from whom confidence has been withheld must also resign.

Article 73 Committees
The Assembly forms provisional committees from its members to collect information and to find facts on the subjects concerning the exercising of its jurisdiction.

Article 74 Budget
The draft budget is submitted to the Assembly two months before the beginning of the fiscal year. The budget is not in force unless it is approved by the Assembly.

Article 75 Budge Vote
Voting on the budget is chapter by chapter. The method of preparing the budget is defined by law.

Article 76 Fiscal Year
Every fiscal year has one budget and the beginning of the fiscal year is defined by law.

Article 77 Continuing Budget
If the Assembly fails to approve the budget before the beginning of the new fiscal year, the previous fiscal year remains in force until approval of the new fiscal year. Revenues are obtained in accordance with the laws still in force.

Article 78 Budget Changes
No change in the budget's chapters is permissible except in accordance with provisions of the law.

Article 79 Budget Amendments
During study of the budget, the Assembly has no right to increase the estimates of revenues and expenditures.

Article 80 New Expenditures
After approval of the budget, the Assembly can approve laws on new expenditures and revenues.

Article 81 Tax Laws
It is not permissible to impose taxes, to modify taxes, or to cancel taxes except by law.

Article 82
Final accounts for the fiscal year are submitted to the Assembly within two years of the end of that year. The settlement of accounts should be made by law. Amounts to be applied to the settlement of accounts should be applied to the budget, subject to approval.

Part 2 The Executive Authority

Section 1 The President of the Republic

Article 83 Eligibility
A candidate for the presidency must be an Arab Syrian, enjoying his civil and political rights, and be over 40 years of age.

Article 84 Election
Upon the proposal of the Arab Socialist Baath Party regional command, the Assembly issues the order for election of the President:

1) the candidacy is proposed to the citizens for referendum;

2) the referendum takes place upon the request of the President of the Assembly;

3) the new president is elected before termination of the term of the present President, within a period of not less than 30 days and not more than 60 days;

4) the candidate becomes President of the Republic if he obtains an absolute majority of the total votes. If he fails to obtain this majority, the Assembly names another candidate. The same procedures are followed concerning the election, provided this takes place within 1 month from the time the results of the first plebiscite were announced.

Article 85 Term
The President of the Republic is elected for 7 years according to the Christian calendar, beginning at the date of the expiration of the term of the incumbent President.

Article 86 Incapacity
If any temporary incapacity prevents the President of the Republic from carrying out his duties, the Vice President takes his place.

Article 87 Resignation
If the President of the Republic wishes to resign, he must submit his resignation to the Assembly.

Article 88 Re-Election
The first Vice President of the Republic or the Vice President named by the President, carries out the President's duties if the President fails to do so. If the incapacity is permanent or in case of death or resignation, a referendum takes place to elect a new President in accordance with the provisions of Article 84, within a period not exceeding 90 days. If the Assembly is dissolved or if its term is due to expire in less than 90 days, the first Vice President carries out the President's duties until the new Assembly convenes.

Article 89 Vacancy
If the post of President becomes vacant and there is no Vice President, the Prime Minister exercises all the President's powers and jurisdictions until a new President is elected by means of referendum within 90 days.

Article 90 Oath
Before taking his post, the President takes the constitutional oath before the People's Assembly in accordance with Article 7.

Article 91 Liability
The President cannot be held responsible for actions pertaining directly to his duties, except in the case of high treason. A request for his indictment requires a proposal of at least one-third of the members of the People's Assembly and an Assembly decision adopted by a two-thirds majority in an open vote at a special secret session. His trial takes place only before the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Article 92 Remuneration
The protocol, privileges, and compensation of the post of the
President of the Republic are established by law.

Article 93 Functions
(1) The President of the Republic insures respect for the Constitution, the orderly functioning of public authorities, and the preservation of the state.

(2) The President of the Republic exercises executive authority on behalf of the people within the limits defined in this Constitution.

Article 94 Policy
The President of the Republic, through consultation with the cabinet, lays down the state's general policy and supervise its implementation.

Article 95 Appointments
The President of the Republic appoints one or more Vice Presidents and delegates some of his duties to them. The President also appoints the Prime Minister and his deputies and the ministers and their deputies, accepts their resignations, and dismisses them from their posts.

Article 96 Oath
Before assuming their posts, the Vice Presidents take the Constitutional oath specified in Article 7 before the President of the Republic.

Article 97 Cabinet Meeting, Reports
The President of the Republic can call a cabinet meeting under his Chairmanship. He can also request reports from the ministers.

Article 98 Veto
The President of the Republic promulgates the laws approved by the People's Assembly, he may veto these laws through a decision, giving the reasons for this objection, within a month after their receipt by the President. If the Assembly again approves them by a two-thirds majority, the President of the Republic has to issue them.

Article 99 Decrees
The President of the Republic issues decrees, decisions, and orders in accordance with the legislation in effect.

Article 100 War and Peace
The President of the Republic can declare war and general mobilization and conclude peace following the approval by the People's Assembly.

Article 101 State of Emergency
The President of the Republic can declare and terminate a state of emergency in the manner stated in the law.

Article 102 Diplomacy
The President of the Republic accredits the heads of diplomatic missions to foreign governments and accepts the accreditation of the heads of foreign diplomatic missions to him.

Article 103 Commander-in-Chief
The President of the Republic is the supreme commander of the army and the armed forces. He issues all the necessary decisions and orders in exercising this authority. He can delegate some of his authority.

Article 104 Treaties
The President of the Republic ratifies and abolishes internal
treaties and agreements in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Article 105 Amnesty
The President of the Republic can issue amnesty and reinstatement decisions.

Article 106 Decorations
The President of the Republic can bestow decorations.

Article 107 Dissolution of Parliament
(1) The President of the Republic can dissolve the People's Assembly through a decision giving the reasons. Elections are held within 90 days from the date of the dissolution.

(2) He may not dissolve the People's Assembly more than once for the same reason.

Article 108 Extraordinary Sessions, Addresses
(1) The President of the Republic can call on the People's Assembly to convene an extraordinary session.

(2) He can also address the Assembly through messages and can make statements before the Assembly.

Article 109 Appointment of Officials
The President of the Republic appoints civilian and military officials and terminates their services in accordance with the law.

Article 110 Initiative
The President of the Republic may draft project laws and submit them to the Assembly for approval.

Article 111 Assuming Legislative Authority
(1) The President of the Republic assumes legislative authority when the People's Assembly is not in session, provided that all the legislation issued by him is referred to the People's Assembly in its first session.

(2) The President of the Republic can assume legislative authority even when the Assembly is in session if it is extremely necessary in order to safeguard the country's national interests or the requirements of national security, provided that the legislation issued by him is referred to the People's Assembly in its first session.

(3) The People's Assembly can abolish or amend the legislation as provided for in Paragraph (1) and (2), or by law by a two-thirds majority of the members attending the session, provided their number is not less than the Assembly's absolute majority and provided that the amendment or abolition does not have a retroactive effect. If the Assembly does not abolish or amend this legislation, then it is considered legally approved and there will be no need for a vote on it.

(4) The President of the Republic assumes legislative authority in the interim period between two assemblies. Legislation issued by the President during this period is not referred to the People's Assembly. Its validity as regards amendments or abrogation are the same as with existing laws.

Article 112 Referenda
The President of the Republic can hold public referenda on important issues affecting the country's highest interests. The results of the referenda are binding and effective on the date of their promulgation. The President of the Republic issues the results.

Article 113 Emergency Measures
In case of a grave danger or situation threatening national unity or the safety and independence of the homeland or obstructing state institutions from carrying out their constitutional responsibilities, the President of the Republic can take immediate measures necessitated by these circumstances.

Article 114
The President of the Republic can form specialized organizations, councils, and committees. The powers and jurisdiction of these bodies are specified in the decisions forming them.

Section 2 The Council of Ministers

Article 115 Cabinet
(1) The cabinet is the state's highest executive and administrative body. It consists of the President of the Council of Ministers, his deputies, and the ministers. It supervises the execution of the laws and regulations and the work of the state machinery and institutions.

(2) The President of the Council of Ministers supervises the activities of the ministers.

(3) The compensations and allowances of the President of the Council of Ministers, his deputies, the ministers, and their deputies are fixed by law.

Article 116 Oath
The President of the Council of Ministers, his deputies, and the ministers and their deputies take the constitutional oath, as specified in Article 7, before the President of the Republic and before they assume their responsibilities, whenever a new cabinet is formed. In the case of a cabinet reorganization, only the new ministers takes the oath.

Article 117 Responsibility
The President of the Council of Ministers and the ministers are responsible before the President of the Republic.

Article 118 Policy Statements
(1) Upon its formation, the cabinet submits a statement to the People's Assembly on its general policy and programs of action.

(2) The Cabinet submits annual statements to the People's Assembly on implementation of the development plans and production progress.

Article 119 Minister
The Minister is the highest administrative authority in his ministry. He carries out the state's general policy where it concerns his ministry.

Article 120 Incompatibility
While in office, the ministers are not permitted to be members of the Board of Directors of any private company, act as its agents, participate in any commercial or industrial transaction, or undertake any liberal profession. While in office, the ministers are not permitted to be directly or indirectly involved in the contracts, tenders, or works carried out by the state ministries, departments, or establishments, or by public sector companies.

Article 121 Liability
The law defines the civil and penal responsibilities of the ministers.

Article 122 Continuing Cabinet
On the expiration of the term of the President of the Republic or in the case of his permanent inability to discharge his duties for any reason, the cabinet continues to manage the affairs of the state until the new president names a new cabinet.

Article 123 Criminal Liability
The President of the Republic has a right to refer a minister to trial for whatever crimes he commits while in his post or because of it, in accordance with provisions of the Constitution and the law.

Article 124 Suspension
An accused minister is suspended as soon as the indictment is issued and until the court arrives at a decision regarding the charges brought against him. His resignation or dismissal does not prevent committing him to trial. The trial and its procedures are in accordance with the law.

Article 125 Compatibility
Cabinet and People's Assembly membership may be combined.

Article 126 Deputy Ministers
The provisions applicable to the ministers are also applicable to the deputy ministers.

Article 127 Powers
The cabinet has the following powers:

1) Participation with the President of the Republic in drawing up and carrying out the state's general policy.

2) Steering, coordinating, and following up the work of the ministries and all the state's public departments and establishments.

3) Drawing up the state's general budget project.

4) Preparing draft laws.

5) Preparing the development plan, developing production, and exploiting national resources and everything that will strengthen the economy and increase the national income.

6) Contracting and granting loans in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

7) Concluding agreements and treaties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

8) Following up the enforcement of the laws, preserving the state's security, and safeguarding the rights of the citizens and the state's interest.

9) Issuing administrative and executive decisions in accordance with laws and regulations, and supervising their implementation.

Article 128 Other Powers
In addition to the cabinet's powers, the Prime Minister and the ministers discharge the duties mentioned in valid legislation, provided they are not in conflict with the powers given to other state authorities by this Constitution.

Part 3 The Local People's Councils

Article 129 Councils
(1) The Local People's Councils are bodies which exercise their powers within the administrative units in accordance with the law.

(2) The administrative units are defined in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Article 130 Powers
The law defines the powers of The Local People's Councils, the method of electing and forming them, the rights and duties of their members, and all relevant regulations.