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Damascus: New opposition coalition with Kurdish participation

KURDWATCH, July 4, 2011—The founding of the »National Union of the Forces for Democratic Change« was announced in Damascus June 30, 2011. In a declaration, the new Union demanded the abolishment of Article 8 of the Syrian constitution, which privileges the Baʿth Party, a national dialogue that aims to achieve democratic change, as well as the dissolution of the reigning government and the formation of a transitional government. The transitional government should adopt the following tasks:

1. The development of a constitution which guarantees a parliamentary system, a civil state, and equal civil rights for all citizens;
2. The development of a modern party, media, and electoral law;
3. The Kurds are historically a crucial part of the patriotic fabric of Syria. From this results the necessity for a just solution to the Kurdish question. The solution must be worked out within a patriotic framework and be based upon the unity of the country and the people. In order to achieve this, constitutional guarantees are required. Herein lies no contradiction to the reality that Syria is an indivisible component of the Arabic nation.

The »National Union of the Forces for Democratic Change« is composed of the »Patriotic Democratic Assembly« (four Arabic parties), the Left-Marxist Assembly (four parties), five Kurdish parties [the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Kurdish Left Party in Syria, the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (al-Partî) of Nasruddin Ibrahim, and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party]. Aside from these, various independent Syrian personalities belong to the Union. Other Kurdish parties, among them the member parties to the Declaration of Damascus, have not joined the new coalition.
The »National Union of the Forces for Democratic Change« has chosen an 18-member executive committee. Muhammad Musa (Left Party), Salih Muslim Mahmud (PYD), and Jamal Baqi Mula Mahmud (Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party) are the Kurdish members of this council. They are to be replaced by other Kurdish representatives every three months. With Jamal Baqi Mula Mahmud a Kurdish representative also sits in the seven-member administrative board. This position is also to be occupied by a different Kurdish representative every three months. The founding of a national council, composed of 60 persons, is planned.

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