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Syrians poll for new draft constitution


08:15, February 27, 2012

An elderly Syrian presses his ink marked finger on his vote at a polling station in Damascus, capital of Syria, Feb. 26, 2012. Syrians go to the polls on Sunday for a referendum on a new draft constitution, as Damascus struggles under mounting international pressure to carry out reforms and end the country's turmoils. (Xinhua/hazim)

DAMASCUS, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Syrians on Sunday took to about 14,185 polling stations nationwide to vote in a national referendum for the country's new draft constitution, which officials say will transit Syria to political pluralism.

Balloting started at 7:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) and was scheduled to last 12 hours, as the results will be announced Monday.

Interior Minister Lt. Gen Mohammad Shaar said earlier that the balloting could be extended for three more hours to give chance to some 14.6 million eligible voters to cast their votes. He said the referendum will transit Syria to political pluralism, as it's the first since four decades.

The new charter states that the president can only be in office for a maximum of two seven-year terms. Under the constitution, President Bashar al-Assad will end his two seven-year terms in 2014 at the latest and, with it, his family's 40 years of control over the country.

Syrian streets have been decorated with billboards and banners urging Syrians to vote. "Don't turn your back to voting," a billboard reads. "Syria's constitution is the freedom of belief," said the other. Syria's official newspapers splashed front-page headlines deeming today's referendum as an "exceptional" day in the Syrian people's life.

"Voting means an expression of willingness to lay foundation for the most significant stage in the process of reform," said al- Thawra newspaper in an editorial.

It added that voting would delineate the features of the next stage, adding that "most Syrians would found the new constitution as a chance to settle down a lot of outstanding issues."

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Hammad Sethi at 2012-02-2892.25.56.*
This world is a feud of women, wealth, and land; and Western Christian, Jewish, and Hindu/Sikh claims of secularism, respects for human rights, democracy, and freedom, is all bullshit, and we all know this. There is an urgent need for Muslim rulers to address the prevailing sense of injustice and discontentment in the Muslim societies. We see Western Christians, Jews, and Hindus/Sikhs united against Muslims, but it is horrible to see Muslims so disillusioned by the Muslim rulers that they are inviting Western Christian crusading drinking raping bulls to their countries to get rid of the Muslim rulers. We know that a large number of Bosnian and Iraqi women are in prostitution because of these drinking raping crusaders. They have ensured the rape of Muslims in Kashmir and Palestine for decades. Look what they have done to Libya. Have they brought peace and prosperity to Libya? Look what they are doing in Afghanistan? Do we Muslims need to see anything more to believe that these raging raping crusaders will not sacrifice a single penny or a single drop of blood to benefit a Muslim? The Muslim people need to be patient, and the Muslim leaders need to work overtime to remove the sense of injustice and deprivation from Muslim societies.

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