Jumblatt calls Syria's referendum a" theatrical performance"


Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt criticized the referendum on new constitution in Syria, calling it “a constitutional, theatrical performance.”

“Some constitutional theaters are being staged on corpses and amid the sounds of bullets,” Jumblatt said in his weekly article published in Al-Anbaa newspaper on Monday.

Jumblatt in his column stressed the “importance of implementing the articles of the Arab League initiative which is similar to the Gulf initiative on Yemen.”

The PSP leader reiterated that its “vital for the Syrian opposition to unite [its ranks] and encompass all [Syrian] groups without exception.”

“The battle is tough and long. All efforts need [to be joined together] and schism [should be avoided].”

Jumblatt also commended the “historic” stance taken by the Palestinian Hamas movement regarding the Syrian situation.

“Standing by the Syrian people, shows that [Hamas] understands the meaning of sacrifice for the sake of freedom,” Jumblatt said.

Ismail Haniya, who heads the Hamas government in Gaza, offered his support last week in Cairo to “the heroic Syrian people, who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform.”

The PSP leader also criticized Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for bestowing the Pushkin medal on pro- regime Syrian writer Ali Okla Orsan.

Syrian activists say more than 8,000 people have been killed in the crackdown on Syrian protesters who have been demonstrating against the Baath regime since March 2011.

Sham vote

Over 89 per cent of Syrians approved a new constitution, proposed by President Bashar al-Assad, in a referendum on Sunday, state television said on Monday.

The new constitution that could keep Assad in power until 2028 was condemned by world leaders as a “sham”.

“The referendum in Syria is nothing more than a farce,” said Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister. “Sham votes cannot be a contribution to a resolution of the crisis. Assad must finally end the violence and clear the way for a political transition.”

Turnout in the referendum was 57.4 percent, state television claimed