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Jumblatt calls Syria’s planned referendum “heresy”

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt slammed the Syrian regime’s decision to hold a referendum for a new constitution that would end almost 50 years of single party rule, and called it a “heresy.”

“History and political science books will tell about the heresy of a referendum for the so-called new draft constitution [mixed] with the smell of corpses and the dust of the rubble in Homs and other villages in Syria,” Jumblatt wrote in his weekly article in the PSP newspaper Al-Anbaa.

He also said that “hundreds of [ignoble] parties similar to the Baath Party will be formed in a bid to keep complete control of the state and its institutions.”

He also said that countries supporting the Syrian government are clinging to the regime at the expense of Syria’s unity.

“[Russia] can provide a solution to the [Syrian] crisis [by hosting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in exile] in the far reaches of Siberia - in respect for the feeling of the Russian citizens - or in the middle of Baluchistan.”

“I think Al-Qaeda leaders would repent when they hear the Syrian regime’s experience in terrorism,” he added.

The PSP leader also said that “the Western countries are hiding behind the Russian veto, and are shyly demanding the implementation of reforms under the pretext of the Syrian opposition’s divisions so that they can avoid supporting or acknowledging it.”

Jumblatt also reiterated his call for the Syrian Druze to join the uprising and “refuse to confront the Syrian people.”

“The future is for the free people in Syria, and your natural position is to stand by them,” he added.

“No matter what the plots are, the Syrian people will eventually triumph.”

Assad called a February 26 referendum on a draft constitution that could end nearly five decades of rule for his Baath Party.

Opposition groups promptly rejected the new charter and urged voters to boycott the poll.

The UN says more than 6,000 people have been killed in the crackdown on Syrian protesters who have been demonstrating against the Baath regime since March 2011.

Lebanon’s political scene is split between supporters of Assad’s regime, led by Hezbollah, and the pro-Western March 14 camp.

-NOW Lebanon

For live updates on the Syrian uprising, follow @NOW_Syria on Twitter or click here.