1. General Provisions
– Name: Democratic Union Party (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokratîk)
– Abbreviation: PYDPYD
– Party Symbol: a semicircular green olive branch on the left and a semicircular yellow wheat spike with a red star in the middle. At the top of the circle, the letters (PYD) are written, and at the bottom, the year of establishment (2003) is written.
– Party Headquarters: the Party HQ is located in the city of Al Qamishli (Qamişlo) with branch offices in all the areas where the party is active.
– Party Goals:
A. Struggle for the democratisation of Syria based on the principle of the brotherhood of peoples, because Syria has a long history of being a cultural mosaic and an interconnected social fabric. This history will be the ground on which the shared life of all the ethnic and religious components of Syria is built. This will only be achieved through the shared struggle of all ethnicities, such as the Kurds, Arabs, Assyrian, Syriacs, Turkmen and Chechens, etc., to undermine the chauvinist nationalist mentality, which has scattered Syrian society. Thus, the PYD works towards finding a democratic and just solution to the Kurdish issue in Syria and Rojava within a democratic Syrian constitutional framework.
B. Develop the Democratic Self-administration system, which currently exists in Rojava, and is considered the most successful solution to all socio-political issues. Furthermore, it should be disseminated to all parts of Syria to achieve a democratic, pluralist and decentralised Syria.
C. Strengthening the brotherhood amongst peoples and ethnic groups within the framework of free and voluntary union based upon shared homeland and the democratic nation.
D. Support the democratic liberation struggle in all parts of Kurdistan in order to achieve and consolidate Kurdish national unity based upon the principle of democratic communal confederalism without compromising political borders
E. Work towards a democratic confederate Middle Eastern union and to move forward towards building a political, moral and ecological community that takes women’s freedom as its foundation.
F. Achieve gender equality and to consolidate social justice.
2. The Party Essence
The PYD considers Mr Abdullah Ocalan, the author of democratic civilisation and democratic nation theory, as an inspiration to the Party. The PYD also considers the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), in which women and youth are the avant-garde, the democratic and communal organisation that represents it in Rojava.
The PYD adopts the paradigm of the moral society and the approach of democratic politics to its work and relies on the principle of equal sharing as its fundamental principle. The PYD is a democratic and populist political party that rejects all chauvinistic concepts and stances and believes in pluralism and freedom of belief. The PYD takes openness, the legitimate democratic struggle and peaceful political dialogue as the basis for addressing issues and achieving goals as set out in the program. The PYD works to establish relations with Kurdistani parties in other parts of Kurdistan in order to consolidate national unity. The PYD believes that the Democratic Self-administration is the political, administrative and social system of Rojava, and works towards developing and disseminating it to other parts of Syria. The Party builds its relations with all social groups and Syrian civil society organisations on the basis of the free citizenship principle.
3. Party Membership
A. Party Member:
Anybody who fulfils all of the following criteria is eligible to join the PYD. They must be at least eighteen years of age; believe in the democratic nation; believe in the Party’s Rules of Procedure and expresses them in their daily lives; not be a member of another party, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) nor the internal security forces (Asayesh), abide by Party rules; and pay their monthly membership.
– Candidate for Party Membership: the candidate is prepared for membership during a period of training and education lasting no more than three months.
– Party Supporter: a party supporter is a person who accepts all the goals of the party, works towards achieving them according to his/her abilities, and supports the party both financially and morally.
B. Party Membership (Granting and Revocation):
The person who wants to apply for party membership should apply to one of the Party’s committees near his/her place of residence. The candidate is then seconded or recommended by two party members, and is nominated for membership. The candidate is subjected to a probationary or trial period – no less than one month and no more than three months. Following the successful completion of this period, the candidate becomes a full party member after receiving the approval of the local committee and approval by the Party’s Provincial General Co-ordinating Committee.
The Party’s Provincial Administration inspects and makes decisions on requests by members to rejoin the Party if their membership has been revoked. Except in the case of members who, prior to their dismissal, had occupied senior leadership positions, their requests to re-join the party are dealt with by the Party’s General Council. Similarly, membership revocation is dealt with by the Party’s Provincial Administration. However, members who occupy senior leadership positions must be referred to the Party’s General Council.
C. Party Member’s Duties:
1. Take pride in and to be associated with the values of all ethnicities of Mesopotamia and other Middle Eastern peoples, the philosophy of Mr Abdullah Ocalan and to struggle for his liberation from captivity as a national, ethical and humane duty.
2. Participate in working towards achieving equality between men and women on the basis of belief in the right of women to be free.
3. Work with a spirit of sacrifice, enthusiasm, determination and resistance in order to develop the Democratic Self-administration system, implement the Party’s approach, and achieve the Party’s objectives as outlined in the program.
4. Apply policies drawn by the leadership of the party, represented by the co-chairmanship and the General Council of the party.
5. Implement party instructions and directions without hesitation and act in accordance with the rules of procedure and the party’s ethical standards.
6. Understand and absorb the party’s ideological and political approach and apply them in practice.
7. Commit to party discipline and the spirit of comradeship.
8. Protect the party’s moral and material values, respect the democratic forces, and embody the values and sanctities of the people and defend their interests.
9. Recruit highly qualified new members for the Party.
10. Not using their position and power for personal gain.
11. Defend the Party’s principles under all conditions, within or outside the Party, without making any concessions to any behaviour, attitude, position or life style.
12. Protect and develop the gains of the community and public property, without using them for their personal interests.
D. Party Member’s Rights:
1. Every member has the right to stand as an electoral candidate for all party posts in accordance with party rules and regulations.
2. Every member has the right of criticism and self-criticism and the right to defend themselves against charges against them in accordance with party rules and regulations.
3. Every member has the right to express their opinions and ideas in all matters, and to participate in party discussions to reach the best decisions.
4. Every member is entitled to refine and develop their political and organisational talents and competencies.
5. Every member has the right to resign from the party or his duties. Good reasons should be provided, a resignation letter must be supplied to the relevant party authority that deals with resignations. Members’ resignations only come into force once approved by the General Co-ordination Council of the party in the designated canton.
6. Every member has the right to request access to the necessary information from the concerned authorities within the party in connection with an incident or an issue, in accordance with the party’s rules and regulations.
7. A member is entitled to a position according to their competencies as long as it does not contradict the party’s rules of procedure.
8. A member is entitled to request “restitution” when their rights have been violated.
9. A member is entitled to request training, both political and intellectual.
10. A member is entitled to write personal reports to the concerned authorities within the Party.
E. Party Member’s Qualities
1. Strives to build and develop the Democratic Self-administration.
2. A patriot who loves his/her people and committed to their values.
3. A person who has a deep awareness of the history, geography and culture of their society and filled with the love of humanity.
4. Represents the ethics of their community and the politics of democracy.
5. A believer in the democratic nation and women’s freedom.
6. Full of love and respect for their people and colleagues, and deal them on the basis of camaraderie.
7. Committed to the principles of the democratic nation and peaceful coexistence between peoples.
8. An assiduous, well-organised and innovative person.
9. An ecological person, who aims to defend and protect the environment/nature.
10. Committed to the values of martyrs and their heritage and embodies their memory in practice/work.
11. Does not work to break the will of their colleagues and people and does not demoralise them in their lifestyle.
12. Modest in his life and transparent with his/her comrades and people.
4. Organisational Structure
A. General Conference:
The General Conference is the highest legislative body within the party. It is held every 2 years with the participation of the majority of the elected delegates. It makes decisions by a simple majority votes of the participants. The Conference could be held earlier, before the scheduled date, by a decision of two-thirds of General Council members and the approval of the co-presidency of the party, or at the request of two-thirds of party members. The Conference can also be postponed for one time only, at the request of the party co-chairmanship and the decision of two-thirds members of the General Council of the party.
Participants in the Conference are delegates elected from all bodies and institutions of the party. The percentage of the representation of each province is decided according to the proportion of its members, under the supervision of the Preparatory Committee and the approval of the authoritative body of leadership of the party. Both the co-presidency of the party and members of the General Council attend the Conference as ordinary members. The Conference has the power to accept and/or modify the Party Program and Rules of Procedure, change the party’s strategy and draw interim party policies. The Conference elects the co-presidency and members of the General Council of the party.
B. Expanded Meeting:
The Expanded Meeting is held in the period between the General Conferences and when necessary by a decision of the General Council of the Party and the approval of the co-presidency of the Party. The Expanded Meeting is attended by members of the General Council, delegates of the Party Administration both domestic and abroad, and a number of elected representatives of other bodies and authorities of the Party (the number of the representatives is determined by the General Council of the Party).
C. General Council:
The General Council, with the co-presidency, constitutes the supreme intellectual, political and regulatory authority in the period between Conferences. Members of the General Council are elected during the General Conference of the Party. The General Council also submits its reports to the Conference. Member of the General Council (37) are elected during the Conference, taking into account the proportion of provinces and other regions. The General Council is answerable to the Central Authority, which in turn is answerable to the General Council of the Party. This dual-accountability guarantees joint action and mutual supervision. The General Council, the Central Authority and the co-presidency of the Party are answerable to the Conference and submit their reports to it.
Members of the General Council elect the Central Authority among themselves, followed by an approval by the co-presidency of the Party, which in turn has the right, if necessary, to propose the withdrawal of membership of a member of the Central Authority and submit the proposal to the General Council. The Central Authority and the General Council conduct the organisational activities of the Party, apply the Party Program, and implement the Conference’s decisions in provinces.
The General Council is in charge of the formation of the lower authorities within the Party, co-ordinating and supervising their activities. The General Council makes decisions by a majority votes of the participants, and meets once every 2 months.
The General Council ensures, in all cases, that invitations to attend the Conference are sent at least a week in advance, accompanied by the proposed agendas.
D. Central Authority:
The Central Authority consists of 9 members in addition to the co-presidency (11 in total). Members of the Central Authority are elected by the General Council once they receive two-thirds of the votes. If the threshold is not met for any member in the first and second round of the elections, a third round of elections will be organised where members are elected on an absolute-majority basis. In the period between two General Conferences, the Central Authority remains active and heads the General Council at the same time. The Central Authority is responsible for all the Party’s activities, implements the General Council’s decisions and submits its reports to the Party’s co-presidency and the General Council meetings. It convenes once a month.
-The Central Authority comes second after the General Council in terms of order and submits its reports to the General Council and the co-presidency of the Party.
-The Central Authority, together with the General Council, identifies the ideological, political and diplomatic strategies of the Party, tactics of the Party, and supervises the work of various Party offices.
-The Central Authority works alongside the General Council and also on behalf of it when the General Council is unable to carry out its normal duties.
-Both the General Council and the co-presidency of the Party organise and direct the work and activities of the Central Authority.
-The Central Authority submits its reports to the General Council, which in turn evaluates and assesses their effectiveness.
E. Co-presidency of the Party:
The co-presidents of the Party are elected at the General Conference after obtaining two-thirds of the votes. If this threshold is not met during the first and second rounds of elections, a third round is carried out, during which candidates must achieve absolute majority. The co-presidency remains in power for the period between the two conferences, during which it chairs the General Council. The co-presidency of the Party is responsible for all the Party’s activities and reports to the General Conference and the General Council.
-Powers of the Co-presidency:
1. Responsible for supervising the Party’s activities, policies and the implementation of policies.
2. Representing the Party at local, regional and international political meetings, seminars and conferences.
3. Chairing the General Council meetings, reporting to it and receiving reports from the Council as well.
4. Choosing a member of the General Council as a Spokesperson of the Party.
5. Responsible for regulating the affairs of the Party’s institutions.
6. When votes are equal for elections of the General Council, the side the co-presidency is on is considered the winner.
7. Overseeing Kurdistani, national and international relations.
8. Forming an advisory body.
9. Preparing a general report for the Conference.
F. Advisory Board:
The Advisory Board provides the co-presidency with advice, research and studies on all political, social, economic and cultural affairs. The Board convenes meetings once a month and every skilled and qualified person, who the co-presidency deems appropriate, has the right to nominate themselves for a position within the Board.
G. Party Offices:
The General Council establishes Party offices, namely:
Offices’ meetings are held once a month to discuss their activities and events. Each office forms its own committee (5-9 members) and each Party organisation and committee must send their monthly reports to Party Offices.
-Are official members of the General Council of the Party.
-Are responsible and answerable to the General Council of the Party.
-Elect a member of the office as an Office Assistant to help them with office work.
-Are not allowed to have another job besides their office work.
-Are responsible for writing an Office program, in accordance with the Party’s Rules of Procedure, and which must be approved by the General Council.
-Are responsible for chairing a monthly meeting of their offices to discuss work progress.
-Once resigned from their position, provided their resignation has been approved, their assistant acts as a caretaker until the General Council appoints a new manager.
Each office consists of several members, who are elected and organised by the General Council.
-Organisation Office: is the highest organisation management bureau, responsible for managing regulatory bodies, drawing the general organisational chart and supervising the work of the democratic politics academy of the Party. It consists of 7 members and women must be equally represented.
-Finance Office: oversees the administrative, financial and economic affairs of the Party.
-Public Relations Office: responsible for organising and developing the Party’s relationship with the wider community and local, regional and international political parties.
-Information Office: responsible for delivering the Party’s voice, views and positions to the outside world. It is also responsible for spreading the culture of democracy, tolerance and human rights, deeply embodied in the spirit of the democratic nation ideology, via the print media, radio and television. It oversees the Party’s media organisation and institutions.
-Women’s Office: responsible for supervising the organisational work of women within the Party in Rojava, Syria and abroad. The main task of the Office is to inform and educate women about women’s rights, liberty and democratic politics and practices.
-Youth Office: is responsible for supervising young people in their organisational work and activities within the Party in Rojava, Syria and abroad. The main task of the Office is to train young people about democratic politics in order to play their leading role in advancing society.
5. Provincial Conferences:
Provincial conferences are held in each province (Kobani, Efrin and Al Jazira) separately before the General Conference. The organisational structure, which is ratified by the General Conference, is the action plan of those conferences.
The Functions of the Provincial Conference:
The Provincial Conference develops operational plans for the implantation of the decisions of the General Conference and also implements provincial decisions that are not conflicting with the resolutions and recommendations of the General Conference. The Provincial Conference is supervised by the General Council and the Co-presidency of the Party. Members of the Provincial Conference are chosen by the General Council and members of the Provincial Party Office. Provinces are administratively divided into the following provinces: Al Jazira, Kobani and Efrin.
The Organisational Structure of the Party in the Province:
A. The Provincial Conference:
It is the highest legislative authority. It convenes before the General Conference of the Party with the participation of majority numbers of elected delegates. Decisions are made based on the majority votes system. The Provincial Conference can be held earlier, or postponed, by a decision approved by two-thirds of the members, the Co-presidency of the Party and the Provincial General Co-ordinating Authority of the Party. Participants in the Provincial Conference are elected delegates from all Party offices in the province. Each province determines the number of delegates, supervised by the Preparatory Committee and approved by Provincial Party Management. Both the Provincial Co-ordinating Authority and the Provincial Party Management participate in the Provincial Conference as ordinary members. The Provincial Conference elects the Provincial Party Management.
B. Expanded Meeting
-The Expanded meeting is held between two General Conferences, when necessary and by a decision of the Party Management, General Co-ordinating Body and approved by Party Co-presidency and the General Council. The Expanded Meeting is attended by members of the Party Management and delegates of regions and a number of elected representatives of other Party authorities. The number of delegates is decided by the Party leadership.
-The Expanded Meeting has all the powers of the General Conference, except for modifying the organisational structure and strategy of the Party. In addition, the Expanded Meeting does not change the Party Management, or the General Co-ordination Body.
-Regions organise their own expanded meetings prior to the General Conference in the region.
C. The General Co-ordinating Body
-The General Co-ordinating Body (GCB) consists of (5-7) members, elected by the Party Management in addition to representatives of women and youth organisations, considering the equal representation of both sexes and obtaining two-thirds of the vote. If the threshold is not met during the first and second electoral rounds, a third round is to be held in order to achieve the absolute majority needed. The GCB resumes its function in the period between both General Conferences and chairs the Party Management at the same time. The GCB is responsible for all the Party’s activities within the framework of the decisions taken at Party meetings. It also has the authority to establish special committees to help it carry out its functions. The GCB reports to the General Conference and Party Management meetings. The GCB assembles once a month.
-The GCB comes after the General Council and the Party Management in terms of order and submits its reports to the General Council.
-Together with the Party Management, the GCB determines the ideological, political and diplomatic orientation of the Party in the province. The Party Management, however, supervises the work of the GCB, which has the right to establish scientific and cultural institutions in the province following the approval of the General Council.
-The GCB is responsible for the overall control of the Party’s organisational activities in the province. It organises and direct local Party organisations and committees and receive their reports as well. The GCB also directs the Party Management, supervises its activities and approve its decisions and proposals. The GCB also oversees the Party’s finances and expenditure, and examines complaints and grievances.
-The GCB works alongside the General Council and replaces it when the General Council is unable to function in the province.
-The General Council organises and directs the work of the GCB.
-The GCB submits its activities’ reports to the Party Management during meetings.
D. The Party Administration
The Party Administration (PA) together with the GCB in the province, are the highest ideological, political and organisational authority of the Party in the province in the period between the two General Conferences. Members of the PA are elected by the General Conference.
-The PA consists of 25 – 35 members according to the size and population of each province.
-The PA is answerable to the GCB, and vice versa. This ensures mutual supervision and accountability and both the PA and the GCB are answerable and report to the General Conference.
-The PA elects the GCB from its members and is approved by the Party Co- presidency and the General Council of the Party. The PM has the right to re-elect the GCB withdraw or annul the membership of a candidate and refer the decision to General Council. Both the PA and the GCB oversee and organise the Party’s organisational activities, implement the Party Program and decision in the province.
-The PA makes decisions by a simple majority rule, and assembles once every two months.
– PA’s meetings are scheduled or postponed by a two-third vote of PA’s members.
– PA’s tasks are:
1. Support and assist the popular democratic institutions of the Democratic Self- administration in each province.
2. Support and assist the democratic activities of women and youth organisations in each province.
3. Organise and direct the Party’s media, and establish and direct the work of the Relations Office in each province.
4. Prepare and train Party cadres and raise the public awareness of democracy.
5. Establish a special financial system, and form necessary financial committees in each province.
E. Special Provisions
Both women and youth organisations in the province work in accordance with their own special organisational mechanism, set out in their conferences.
The Regional Administration (RA) is a leadership authority that controls several provincial administrations and consists of 7 to 15 members, elected by regional conferences and approved by the Party Administration and the GCB. The RA meets once a month and elects the RA’s General Administrator of the region and two assistants to help the RA in the period between two conferences. The RA implements Party decisions, establishes committees necessary for the work of the RA, and submits its organisational, political and financial reports to the GCB of the province.
The Area Administration (AA) is a leadership authority responsible for several local administrations that belong to it. Members of the AA (5-7) are elected by Local Administrations. The AA oversees the organisational and political work of the Party and implements its policies in the area. The AA also forms committees and the necessary authorities and it follows orders from the RA. It meets once a month and submits its financial, organisational and political reports to the RA.
The Local Administration (LA) is responsible for administrating local committees in its area. It elects its members (3-5) from Party members in the area and is supervised by the AA. Its roles are to organise local Party members and also to implement Party policies, received from the AA. It plays an important role in educating Party members and the general public. It also collects Party membership, meets once a month, and submit reports to the AA.
The Committee Administration (CA) is responsible for administrating several Party groups (no more than 3). Members of the CA oversee Party recruitments and educate candidates about the Party and its Program for 3 months and prepare them to become full members.
6. Regional Conferences
Regional Conferences are organised before Provincial Conferences to elect the Provincial Administration. The duties of Regional Conferences are:
-Elect Regional and Provincial Administrations.
Each member of the Party, who is still active and has not been dismissed, has the right to nominate themselves to become a member of the Regional Administration.
7. Women’s Conference
The Women’s Conference is held in the period between two General Conferences. During the Women’s Conference, Women’s Administration, which is responsible for administrating women’s affairs and organise women inside the Party, is selected.
8. Youth’s Conference
Youth conferences, both within regions and abroad, are organised before the General Youth Conference, which in turn conveys before the General Conference of the Party. During the conference, youth organisational structure are elected, whose primary duty is to prepare an exclusive program for the youths.
9. The Party’s Conference Abroad
The abroad conference is held before the Party’s General Conference and after regional conferences in each foreign country. During the abroad conference, the Party management is elected. The conference also sets out programs in order to implement the decisions and recommendations of the Party and its leadership. The Party management also organises Party activities abroad to introduce the Kurdish issue in Syria and the Democratic Self-Administration as a solution to the general public.
10. Regulation Mechanism
The regulation mechanism of the Party functions in accordance with democratic participatory practices and the organisational structure of the Party. Directions and instructions are top -down, whereas report submission is bottom-up. Party management changes through democratic elections. The Party organisation is structured around the principles of democracy, collective and voluntary work. The co-presidency system is followed in all Party organs, committees and authorities.
A. Reports and Instruction System
Reports and instructions must contain enough information about activities, suggestions, criticism and self-criticism. Reporting system should reflects the participatory and democratic leadership and work of the Party, regardless of the party or authority that writes the report. Reports have to be submitted in an organised and orderly manner including plans and agendas. The report issuing authority is responsible for its content before the Party. Both higher and lower authorities are fully responsible for late submission of reports. Each authority submits its reports to a higher authority, evaluating its own and the Party’s work, making suggestions and criticism and self-criticism. Members of the General Council of the Party submits their annual personal reports to the Central Authority, which examines those reports with the Party Presidency.
B. Meetings System
All Party authorities are obliged to convene their meetings according to the Rules of Procedure of the Party. Meeting minutes and members’ suggestions and opinions should all be noted and documented. Meetings are convened once a majority of members are present. Members who unjustifiably fail to attend 3 successive meetings lose their membership.
C. Criticism and Self-criticism
Practicing criticism and self-criticism is a members’ right and is also one of the fundamental pillars of the Party and members development at all levels. It is a solution to internal Party problems and a basic mean of correction and renovating the Party’s general path. All Party members are required to use the principle of criticism and self-criticism efficiently in order to overcome obstacles. Criticism however cannot be used to attain personal goals or for defamation of other members.
D. The Penal System
Members are punished if they breach the Party’s discipline and Rules of Procedure; divert away from the Party’s goals and program; disclose Party’s secrets; refuse to implement instructions and directions; use the Party for personal and family gains; carry out activities that might cause any harm to the Party’s image; or breaching the Party’s rules. The nature of the punishment reflects the nature of the offence committed. The punishment procedures are as follows:
Each Party authority reserves the right to issue a warning (verbal and written), freeze membership and dispel members.
Each member has the right to write a report about their unfair dismissal to the relevant Party authority.
E. Decision Making Mechanism
Decisions are made based on the majority rule of members in all Party authorities.
F. The Party’s Financial System
A member of the General Conference of the Party and 2 members of the Party management are allocated the responsibility of overseeing the Party’s finances. In addition, financial authorities are organised within the Party and are responsible for income and expenditure and also submitting economic projects.
The Party’s derives its finances from the following resources:
1. Monthly and annual membership of members and supporters.
2. Fees collected from members of blocs within various Party departments. This fee should not exceed the equivalent of a month’s wages within a year. These fees are allocated to cover the general expanses of departments and the Party’s HQ.
3. Seasonal campaigns, donations, revenues from voluntary work, and Party’s special projects and publications.
4. The dues that are paid by the treasury of the Democratic Self-administration of Rojava as laid down by the Legislative Council Act.
1. Financial reports are submitted to higher authorities periodically, including incomes and expenditure accounts.
2. The General Council of the Party decides the Party’s annual budget.
3. All financial bodies and committees are obliged to write down their finances in an account book.
4. Lower Party authorities are not entitled to use Party financial resources without the approval of the Finance Committee.
11. Party Newspaper
The Party issues a printed weekly journal, supervised by a member of the General Council of the Party.
1. The Women’s Organisation within the Party organises and regulates itself by itself from the bottom-up. All decisions relating to women are made by the Women’s Organisation.
2. The Regional Co-ordinating Body is linked to the General Council of the Party.
3. The voting procedure at all levels within the Party is secret ballot.
4. Presidential advisors are entitled to attend meetings of both the General Council and the Regional General Co-ordinating Bodies.
5. Both the Women’s and the Youth’s Organisations possess the right to convene their conferences, if necessary, following the approval of the organisations’ management, members and the Party’s General Council.
6. For a conference or an extraordinary expanded meeting to be convened, two-thirds of the votes of members of the General Council and the Regional Co-ordinating Body is required. If this threshold is not met, the votes of half of the Party members and most of the General Council is required for a conference or an extraordinary expanded meeting to be convened.
Ratified during the Party’s 6th General Conference, 20-21/09/2015.