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Majlis Al-Chaab (People's Assembly)


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1945 - 1953
1954 - 1958
1962 - 1963
1971 -
President Hammouda Sabbagh (M) 
Notes Elected on 28 Sep. 2017, re-elected on 6 June 2018.
Secretary General Nael Trisi (a.i.) (M) 
Members (statutory / current number) 250 / 250

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Women (current number) 33 (13.20%)
Mode of designation directly elected 250
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 13 April 2016
(View details)
Address Majlis Al Chaab People´s Assembly
1st Avenue
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (963) 11 332 40 45
11 332 40 46
96 4507 406
93 2048 666
Fax (963) 11 224 64 95
11 371 25 32
11 371 45 40
E-mail info@parliament.gov.sy


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 1 January 1900
Mode of designation directly elected 250
Constituencies 15 multi-member constituencies corresponding to administrative districts.
Voting system Majority: Direct election, simple majority vote with preferential system.
Voters select one list from among a series of lists of parliamentary candidates. Two thirds of the candidates on each list are from the NPF, which itself is guaranteed 131 seats.
51% of the Deputies must be workers and farmers. The other 80 seats are allocated to independent candidates.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by elections held within 90 days after the vacancy arises (except for vacancies arising less than six months before the expiration of the mandate).
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Syrian citizenship
- disqualifications: insanity, allegiance to a foreign State, conviction of specific crimes, members of the armed and police forces
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 25 years
- Syrian citizenship
- literacy
Incompatibilities - members of the armed forces
- civil servants
- government commissioners and police officers can be elected in another constituency than the one where working (after obtaining an authorization)
Candidacy requirements - candidates may run independently or with the support of a political party


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 13 April 2016
Timing and scope of renewal On 22 February 2016, President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree calling elections to the People's Assembly for 13 April. The elections were held during the ongoing civil war that began in late 2011. Elections took place with talks, led by the United Nations, on a possible political transition, including the possibility of a new constitution and presidential and parliamentary elections by September 2017.

Opposition forces called for a boycott of the 2016 elections, accusing the government of using the vote to gain leverage in the peace talks. The High Negotiations Committee, the main opposition force in exile, termed the vote "illegitimate".

The National Unity alliance, supporting President al-Assad and his Baath Party, won 200 seats in the 250-member People's Assembly. Many candidates reportedly focused on security issues. On 2 May, the President issued a decree naming winners of parliamentary elections.

Elections did not take place in Raqa and Idlib provinces, which are controlled by the so-called Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front. Amid the violence, fewer Syrians registered to vote in 2016: 8.8 million, down from 10.1 million in 2012. Over 140,000 refugees returned to the country in order to vote. According to the Higher Judicial Committee for Elections, turnout in 2016 was 57.56%, up from 51.26 % in 2012.
Date of previous elections: 7 May 2012

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 23 May 2016

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry*
*The four-year term of the outgoing legislature started on 24 May 2012. Elections needed to be held between 24 March and 24 May 2016 in accordance with article 62 of the Constitution.

Expected date of next elections: April 2020

Number of seats at stake: 250 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: About 3,500*
*Initially 11,341 people submitted their candidacy but only 3,500 remained in race by the polling day.

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: Not available

Number of parties winning seats: 6

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 5

Names of parties in government: Baath Arab Party, Syrian Communist Party, Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Socialist Unionists, Socialist Union Party.
Note: The Government also include independent members.

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 6 June 2016

Name of the new Speaker: Ms. Hadiyeh Khalaf Abbas
Voter turnout
Round no 113 April 2016
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
5'085'444 (57.56%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Baath Arab Party
Syrian Social Nationalist Party
Syrian Communist Party
Socialist Unionists
Socialist Union Party
Haraka al-'ahd al-waTani
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Baath Arab Party 172
Independents 62
Syrian Social Nationalist Party 7
Syrian Communist Party 4
Socialist Unionists 2
Socialist Union Party 2
Haraka al-'ahd al-waTani 1
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
People's Assembly (30.05.2016, 13.07.2017)


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of the People's Assembly
Term - duration: 1 year
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, loss of parliamentary seat, death, dissolution
of the People's Council
Appointment - elected by all Members present at the election
- election held at the first meeting of the PC, after the general elections
- following validation of mandates

Eligibility - any Member of the PC is entitled to present his candidature
- candidatures should be tabled at the PC's first meeting after the general elections
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- absolute majority for the first round, simple majority for subsequent rounds
Procedures / results - the oldest Member presides over the Council during the voting
- the two secretaries and the members of the Provisional Board of the PC supervise the voting
- the oldest Member announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged. In the event that the validity of certain ballots is challenged, the Provisional Board takes an irrevocable decision
Status - ranks fifth in the order of precedence, after the President of the Republic and the three Vice-Presidents
- represents the Council with the public authorities
- is an ex officio member of bodies outside Parliament
- represents the Council in international bodies
- is ex officio Chairman of committees or other bodies
- in the absence of the President, the Vice-President (in the absence of the latter, the oldest member acts as substitute) can assume his/her role and functions
Board - is regulated by the Standing Orders of the PC
- elected at the PC's first meeting, following the election of the President
- consists of the President, two observers, two secretaries and the Vice-President
- meets at the initiative of the President

Material facilities - allowance
+ expense allowance
- official car with chauffeur
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting-up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - presides over the recruitment, assignment and promotion of staff
- appoints the Clerk
- plays a specific role in overseeing foreign affairs and defence
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Nature of the mandate · Free representation (Art. 52 of the Constitution of 13.03.1973)
Start of the mandate · When the MPs take the oath (Art. 7 and 63 of the Constitution; see also Art. 51 of the Constitution). Procedure.
Validation of mandates · Validation only in case of challenge, by the People's Council following a report by the Constitutional High Court (Art. 62 of the Constitution)
· Procedure (Art. 62 and 144 of the Constitution, Art. 47 of the Electoral Code)
End of the mandate · On the day when the legal term of the House ends - or on the day of early dissolution (see Art. 51 of the Constitution)
Can MPs resign? Yes · Yes, of their own free will
· Procedure (Art. 47 of the Electoral Code): written, justified request addressed to the People's Council, which decides by an absolute majority of its members
· Authority competent to accept the resignation (Art. 71 (7) of the Constitution): the People's Council
Can MPs lose their mandate ? Yes (a) Definitive exclusion from Parliament by the latter: invalidation of mandates (Art. 62 and 144 of the Constitution, Art. 47 of the Electoral Code; see Validation of mandates)
(b) Death (Art. 47 of the Electoral Code)
Rank in hierarchy · Within Parliament:
1. The President
2. The Vice-President
3. The two Secretaries
4. The two Auditors
5. The Presidents of the 12 standing committees
Indemnities, facilities and services · Diplomatic passport for the President and Vice-President. The other members hold official passports.
· Basic salary: (see also Art.64 of the Constitution) SYP 9,120
+ Additional allowance: SYP 18,000/ per session
· Exemption from tax for the additional allowance but not for the basic salary.
· No pension scheme
· Other facilities:
(a) Secretariat for Board members
(b) Assistants for Board members
(c) Official housing for Board members
(d) Official car for Board members
(e) Security guards for Board members (Art. 69 (2) of the Constitution)
(f) Postal and telephone services for Board members
(g) Travel and transport
Obligation to declare personal assets No
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability · The concept exists (Art. 66 and 67 of the Constitution).
· Parliamentary non-accountability is limited to words spoken or written by MPs and votes cast within Parliament.
· Derogations:
· Non-accountability takes effect on the day when the mandate begins and offers, after the expiry of the mandate, protection against prosecution for opinions expressed during the exercise of the mandate.
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability · The concept exists (Art. 67 of the Constitution).
· It applies only to criminal proceedings, covers all offences and protects MPs from arrest and from being held in preventive custody, from the opening of judicial proceedings against them and from their homes being searched.
· Derogations: in cases involving flagrante delicto, the authorisation of the Council or President of the Council is not required.
· Parliamentary inviolability does not prevent MPs from being called as witnesses before a judge or tribunal.
· Protection is provided from the start to the end of the mandate and also covers judicial proceedings instituted against MPs before their election.
· Parliamentary immunity (inviolability) can be lifted (Art. 67 of the Constitution):
- Competent authority: the People's Council; the President of the People's Council (when Parliament is in recess)
- Procedure (Art. 20 to 26 of the Standing Orders of Parliament). In this case, MPs can be heard. They do not have means of appeal.
· Parliament can suspend the prosecution and/or detention of one of its members
- Competent authority: the People's Council
- Procedure
· In the event of preventive custody or imprisonment, the MPs concerned cannot be authorised to attend sittings of Parliament.

Training · There is no training/initiation process on parliamentary practices and procedures for MPs. Nor is there a handbook of parliamentary procedure
Participation in the work of the Parliament · It is compulsory for MPs to be present at plenary sittings, committee meetings and any other activity.
· Penalties foreseen in case of failure to fulfil this obligation: fines
Discipline · Disciplinary measures foreseen:
- Point of order with entry in the record
- Ban on speaking during the sitting
- Other to withdraw from the sitting
· Specific cases:
- Offence or insult
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties:
- Point of order with entry in the record: the President
- Ban on speaking during the sitting, order to withdraw from the sitting: the People's Council
· Procedure
Code (rules) of conduct · This concept does not exist in the country's juridical system but there is one relevant provision (Art. 68 (1) of the Constitution).
· Penalties foreseen for violation of the rules of conduct: none
Relations between MPs and pressure group · There are no legal provisions in this field.

This page was last updated on 13 June 2018
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