New Syrian parliament begins work under new constitution
The new Syrian parliament has begun work under a new constitution approved by a majority of voters in a February referendum.
According to the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the first session of the new parliament began on Thursday.
The parliament speaker is scheduled to be elected by secret ballot and the lawmakers will be sworn in during the Thursday meeting, SANA said.
On May 7, Syria held the first parliamentary elections under the new constitution that paved the way for a multiparty system in the country.
More than half of the eligible voters participated in the parliamentary elections.
About 7,195 candidates, including independent and opposition figures, contested for the parliamentary seats.
The May 7 elections were part of the reforms promised by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The 250-seat Syrian parliament is elected every four years and 172 of the lawmakers represent the workers and farmers sector.
The new parliament began work a few days after SANA said President Assad issued a decree on May 13, ordering the formation of a “Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC).”
According to the presidential decree, the SCC will consist of seven members, who will serve for a period of four years, which could be renewed. However, SANA did not clarify how many renewals of the serving period would be allowed.
The SCC is an independent judicial body and will be based in Damascus, SANA said.