Print this pagePrint this page
PARLINE database new searchNew search
Majlis Al-Chaab (People's Assembly)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 7 May 2012
Purpose of elections Parliamentary elections took place in the context of open rebellion against President Bashar Al-Assad's regime. Major opposition parties boycotted the elections. The National Unity alliance, supporting the President and his Baath Party, took 183 of the 250 seats at stake. Most of the remaining seats went to independent pro-government candidates.

The May 2012 elections followed a revision to the Constitution, adopted by referendum in February (see note). The revision removed a clause making the Baath Party the leader of State and society, paving the way for multi-party elections. However, the Baath Party, in power since 1949, remained predominant.

The elections were due by April 2011 but did not take place due to street protests against the regime, which started in February that year. President Assad subsequently announced a series of reforms and lifted the state of emergency, which had been in place in 1963. However, the protests continued and violence intensified in the following months. According to the United Nations, over 9,000 people had been killed by May 2012.

On 13 March 2012, President Assad issued a decree calling parliamentary elections for 7 May. The Government stated that the elections would be a milestone in political reforms. However, major opposition parties said the vote would be rigged and announced that they would boycott the elections.

Only 5.2 million of the 10.1 million eligible citizens registered to vote. 51.26 per cent of the registered voters actually took part, meaning that in total around a quarter of eligible citizens voted in the elections.

Some independent candidates and several of the newly-formed political parties lodged complaints of irregularities and the Higher Commission for Elections (HCE) ordered re-votes in a number of districts.

Official results gave a large majority to the National Unity alliance. Speaker Mahmoud Abrache was not re-elected. Mr. Jamal Kadiri of the opposition Coalition for Peaceful Change Forces was elected, while none of the newly-established parties won a seat. The Syrian National Youth party said it would not accept the results and stated it would not consider the new People's Assembly as the representative of the Syrian people.

In October 2011, the President appointed a committee tasked with drafting a new Constitution. In January 2012, the Committee published a draft constitution. On 15 February 2012, President Assad issued a decree, calling a referendum on the draft constitution for 26 February. The referendum was held amid bloodshed and an opposition boycott. According to the Interior Minister, 57.4 per cent of registered voters took part in the referendum, of whom, 89.4 per cent approved the Constitution.
Date of previous elections: 22 April 2007

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: N/A

Timing of election: Delayed elections

Expected date of next elections: May 2016

Number of seats at stake: 250 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 7,195 (6,485 men, 710 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 9.9%

Number of parties contesting the election: 12

Number of parties winning seats: Not available

Alternation of power: No (presidential system)

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: Baath Party

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 24 May 2012

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Mohammad Jihad al-Laham (Baath Party)
Voter turnout
Round no 17 May 2012
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
5'186'957 (51.26%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic in Geneva (14.06.2012)

Copyright 1996-2013 Inter-Parliamentary Union