The government in Syria takes the form of a unitary republic with a semi-presidential multiparty representation and the head of state is the president. The head of state who is the president appoints individuals to serve on the council of ministers and ratify the master five-year plan the government follows. The executive body also has the Prime Minister as head of the government, the deputies and the ministers. In Syria, the legislative arm is called the People's Council which has 250 elected members. The judicial branch has various courts that deal in matters of religion, military, criminal as well as security. The High Judicial Council oversees the judicial branch; the highest court is the Court of Cassation which deals with legal cases. The High Constitutional Court handles matters of the constitutionality of the law.

The 250 members of the legislature are elected for four-year term in office by proportional representation from constituencies with multiple seats. Under the previous 1973 constitution, 167 seats in the legislature were reserved for the National Progressive Front. The head of state (president) is elected to serve for a term of seven years. Last elections in the country were held on May 7, 2012, in which the Ba áth Party won more than 60% of the seats.

Syrian parliamentary building known locally as Majilis al Sha ‘ab was commissioned in 1928 and construction completed in 1954, the richly Arabic architectural building with Benzytine marbles is situated on the First Avenue in the city of Damascus. The President of Syria resides in the Presidential Palace Located on Mount Mezzeh overlooking the city of Damascus from the west side. The palace was commissioned in 1979 by the former head of state Hafez al-Assad, the residence is mainly used by government delegation and foreign visitors. Occasionally the president uses Teshreen Palace in Ar Rabwah which was the former presidential residence before Mezzeh became functional.

The Arab Socialist Ba 'ath Party is the most dominant party in the country since its formation in the 1940s, although the party has a leadership structure including National command and Regional command the actual power and control resides in the presidency. In the 1973 constitution, Ba áth party was guaranteed the party leadership functions in the country. Before the new constitution was adopted in 2012 the other smaller political parties were allowed to exist with Ba áth party under the umbrella National Progressive Front but accept to be under Ba áth's leadership. Article 8 of the new constitution however abolished this decree and paved the way for political pluralism.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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