Politics of Syria

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Politics and government of

Politics of Syria takes place in a framework of a parliamentary republic, whereby the power is in the hands of the President of Syria and the ruling Ba'ath Party. Officially, Syria is a parliamentary republic, however since 1963, when the Ba'ath Party came to power, Syria's Emergency Law has been in force. The law, justified on the grounds of the continuing war with Israel and the threats posed by terrorists,[1] suspends most constitutional protections for Syrians.[1]

The two presidents who have been in power since 1963 — the late Hafiz al-Asad followed by his son Bashar al-Asad — were approved in plebiscites where there were no other candidates. The President and his senior aides, particularly those in the military and security services, ultimately make most basic decisions in political and economic life, with a limited degree of public accountability. The president appoints ministers, declares war and states of emergency, issues laws, amends the constitution, and appoints civil servants and military personnel subject to the law. Decrees issued by the president must be approved by the People's Council to become law, except during a state of emergency (which has been in force since before the ratificiation of the constitution). The Syrian army and security services maintained a considerable presence in the neighbouring Lebanese Republic from 1975 until April 24, 2005; for more detail on this, see Syrian presence in Lebanon.[1]

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