Legal Expert: Women Run for Presidency in Syria to Improve Constitution’s Image

Women are running the upcoming elections to test the constitution, writes North Press.

“A woman will be accepted as a candidate to improve the image of the constitution, or to prove that there is a mistake in the interpretation of the constitution’s text,” legal expert Aref al-Sha’al, told North Press on Saturday.

“If the Syrian constitution wanted to prevent women from running for the presidency, it would have mentioned in its text that the president of Syria is male and Muslim,” he added.

He denied that “the constitutional court violated the constitution by accepting women running for the presidency.”

“The text of Article 84 of the Syrian constitution says in one of its items that the candidate should not be married to a non-Syrian wife, which can be understood that the president must be a male, but that does not prevent a woman from running for the presidency.”

On Sunday, the Speaker of the People’s Assembly Hammoud Sabbagh announced the opening of candidacy for the presidential elections from April 19-28. So far, 14 candidates, including two women, have applied.

Activists believe that the 2012 constitution, according to the terms of Article 84, does not only exclude women by determining the gender of the candidate for the position, but rather excludes Syrians in general on the basis of gender, religion, and nationality.

He stressed that “the language of the constitution is incompatible with gender, and it addresses men in its written form. Therefore, this wording must be amended so as not to be interpreted as excluding women from running for the presidency.”

 

 This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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