Assad forms committee to change Syria's constitution

By REUTERS
October 15, 2011 19:06

 
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AMMAN - Syrian President Bashar Assad formed a committee on Saturday to draft a new constitution within four months, the official news agency said, following a series of new laws that gave Syrians more freedom on paper after months of popular unrest.

Under pressure from street protests demanding the end to 41 years of Assad family rule, the president has lifted a state of emergency and promised "multi-party" parliamentary elections by February. But he has also deployed tanks and troops across the country to crush persistent demonstrations, casting doubt on the credibility of his reform gestures, pro-democracy activists say.

"President Assad issued today decree number 33 which stipulates forming a committee to prepare for a draft constitution," the state news agency SANA said.

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