President of Syria

President of the
Syrian Arab Republic

Bashar al-Assad

since 17 July 2000
Residence People's Palace & Tishreen Palace, Damascus
Term length Seven years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Shukri al-Quwatli
Formation 17 April 1946
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The President of Syria is the head of state of the Syrian Arab Republic. He is vested with sweeping powers that may be delegated, at his sole discretion, to his Vice Presidents. He appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and other members of the Council of Ministers (the cabinet) and military officers.[1]

Term of office

The Constitution of Syria allows the President to run for a 7-year term, which can be renewed once.[2]

Eligibility criterias

According to articles 84 and 85 of the Syrian constitution, the candidate for the office of President of the Republic must:

  1. Acquire the support of at least 35 members of the People's Assembly
  2. Be above the age of 40
  3. Have lived continuously in Syria for 10 years before the election
  4. Be Syrian by birth, of parents who are Syrians by birth
  5. Not be married to a non-Syrian spouse

Also, the Constitution states that "The religion of the President of the Republic is Islam," and that "The State shall respect all religions, and ensure the freedom to perform all the rituals that do not prejudice public order."[3]

On 31 January 1973, Assad implemented the new Constitution which led to a national crisis. Unlike previous constitutions, this one did not require that the president of Syria must be a Muslim, leading to fierce demonstrations in Hama, Homs and Aleppo organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the ulama. They labeled Assad as the "enemy of Allah" and called for a jihad against his rule.[4] Robert D. Kaplan has compared Assad's coming to power to "an untouchable becoming maharajah in India or a Jew becoming tsar in Russia—an unprecedented development shocking to the Sunni majority population which had monopolized power for so many centuries."[5]


Apart from executive authority relating to a wide range of governmental functions including foreign affairs, the president has the right to dissolve the People's Council, in which case a new council must be elected within ninety days from the date of dissolution.

List of Presidents

Latest election

Candidate Party Votes %
Bashar al-AssadBa'ath Party 10,319,723 88.7
Hassan al-NouriNIACS500,2794.3
Maher HajjarIndependent372,3013.2
Invalid/blank votes 442,108 3.8
Registered votes/turnout15,845,575 73.42
Source: SANA, SANA


  1. "The President and the Cabinet"
  2. Article 88 of the Syrian Constitution
  3. "Constitution of the Syrian Arabic Republic – Syrian Arab News Agency". Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  4. Alianak 2007, p. 55.
  5. Kaplan, Robert (February 1993). "Syria: Identity Crisis". The Atlantic.
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