Browse the listing below to find government information for Syria, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Syria at its
Syria Country Page.
Government Type: Republic, under Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party regimes since March 1963.
Independence: April 17, 1946.
Constitution: March 12, 1973.
Branches: Executive--president, two vice presidents, prime minister, Council of Ministers (cabinet). Legislative--unicameral People's Council. Judicial--Supreme Constitutional Court, High Judicial Council, Court of Cassation, State Security Courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 13 provinces and city of Damascus (administered as a separate unit).
Political parties: Arab Socialist Resurrection (Ba'ath) Party, Syrian Arab Socialist Party, Arab Socialist Union, Syrian Communist Party, Arab Socialist Unionist Movement, Democratic Socialist Union Party.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Government of Syria
The Syrian constitution vests the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party with leadership functions in the state and society and provides broad powers to the president. The president, approved by referendum for a 7-year term, also is Secretary General of the Ba'ath Party and leader of the National Progressive Front. The president has the right to appoint ministers, to declare war and states of emergency, to issue laws (which, except in the case of emergency, require ratification by the People's Council), to declare amnesty, to amend the constitution, and to appoint civil servants and military personnel.
Along with the National Progressive Front, the president decides issues of war and peace and approves the state's 5-year economic plans. The National Progressive Front also acts as a forum in which economic policies are debated and the country's political orientation is determined. However, because of Ba'ath Party dominance, the National Progressive Front has traditionally exercised little independent power.
The Syrian constitution of 1973 requires that the president be Muslim but does not make Islam the state religion. Islamic jurisprudence, however, is required to be the main source of legislation. The judicial system in Syria is an amalgam of Ottoman, French, and Islamic laws, with three levels of courts: courts of first instance, courts of appeals, and the constitutional court, the highest tribunal. In addition, religious courts handle questions of personal and family law.
The Ba'ath Party emphasizes socialism and secular Arabism. Although Ba'ath Party doctrine seeks to build national rather than ethnic identity, ethnic, religious, and regional allegiances remain important in Syria.
Members of President Asad's own sect, the Alawis, hold most of the important military and security positions. In recent years there has been a gradual decline in the party's preeminence, often in favor of the leadership of the broader National Progressive Front. The party also is now dominated by the military, which consumes a large share of Syria's economic resources.
Syria is divided administratively into 14 provinces, one of which is Damascus. A governor, whose appointment is proposed by the minister of the interior, approved by the cabinet, and announced by executive decree, heads each province. The governor is assisted by an elected provincial council.