Official name: 
Syrian Arab Republic
Name in local language: 
الجمهوريّة العربيّة السّوريّة transliterated as al-Jumhuriyatu al-'arabiya as-suriya
Form of government: 
Political system: 
  • Founding date/ Date of independence: April 7, 1946
  • Date of constitution/reform: Constitution adopted on March 13, 1973. Last amendment February 27, 2012
  • Form of state: Unitary
  • Administrative divisions: Syria is divided into 14 governorates (muhafazat). Governors are appointed by the Ministry of the Interior
  • Official language(s): Arabic
  • Other spoken languages: Kurdish, Armenian, Syriac and Turkic
  • Official religion: No Official religion, but the constitution does require the President to be a Muslim
  • Minorities: Ethnic Minorities: Kurds and Armenians; Religious Minorities: Druze, Christians, Jews and Alawites (minority in terms of population, but Alawites control the highest institutional offices)
  • Dominant actor(s): Military elite and Presidential clan  
  • Elected institutions of government: Presidency, People’s Assembly (Majlis al-Shaab), municipal councils.
  • Non-elected  institutions of government: Government and provincial governments.
  • Party system: The new constitution, promulgated on February 26, 2012, allows several parties to run for election to the People’s Assembly. But freedom of political parties does not exist.

Current authorities

  • Head of state: Bashar al Assad, since 17 July 2000
  • Head of government: Imad Khamis, since 9 August 2016, replacing Wael al-Halqi
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Walid al-Moualem, since 14 April 2011
  • Minister of Interior: Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar, since 14 April 2011
  • Head(s) of Legislative Branch: Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, since 24 May 2012 
  • Composition legislative branch
  • Head of the Judiciary: Najm Hamad al-Ahmad (Minister of Justice), Adnan Zureiq (President Supreme Constitutional Court) 
  • Schematic representation of the political system: Link to PDF