26 Feb '12, 1am

Syria puts new constitution to vote in thick of unrest - Straits Times #Syria

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syrians were called to the polls on Sunday to vote on a new constitution in the face of opposition calls for a boycott and in the thick of deadly violence that Washington said made the exercise 'laughable'. The new text ends the legal basis for the five-decade stranglehold on power of the ruling Baath party but leaves huge powers in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad. The opposition says the changes are entirely cosmetic and that only the departure from power of Mr Assad will suffice after 11 months of repression by his security forces that human rights groups say have left more than 7,600 people dead. On Saturday alone, 98 people were killed, 72 of them civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. blog comments powered by Disqus

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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