UN Envoy to Syria Gives Disappointing Briefing to the Security Council, Devoid of Criticism of the People’s Assembly Elections:
In 1963, the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party took control of power in Syria; since that date, no other party has been allowed to compete with it, despite all the political and economic disasters that have afflicted the Syrian state, for which it is considered to be primarily politically responsible. In 1971, Hafez al Assad seized power and remained the one and only candidate of the Ba’ath Party for thirty years until his death.
This party’s ludicrous claims that it enjoys popular support from millions of citizens is evidence of the Assad family’s use and absolute control of the Ba’ath Party, and further evidence that it is nothing more than a failed hereditary party built on demagoguery. The greatest indicator of the poverty and hollowness of this party was the absence of any of its members from consideration as leader to replace Hafez al Assad when he died in 2000; instead, the Ba’ath Party not only automatically nominated his son Bashar al Assad, an anomalous hereditary appointment process in a supposedly republican state, but this party that wholly dominates the People’s Assembly amended the constitution especially to take account of Bashar al Assad’s age, which was only 34 at the time; Article 83 of the 1973 constitution, which specified that the president appointed to head the republic must be at least 40 years of age on coming to power, was amended, with the age requirement reduced to suit Bashar al Assad. This confirms the extent of the al Assad family’s domination over the Ba’ath Party, providing further evidence that it is simply a worthless vehicle to serve the agenda of the ruling authority, no matter how hostile this is to Syrian society and the state.
The Ba’ath Party Won All Elections Even After the Formal Amendment of the Constitution:
The Assad family suppressed any and all forms of partisan activity opposing it, and formed a bogus political bloc, the ‘National Progressive Front’, consisting of several shell parties to provide a formal, token image of democracy. This bloc’s backbone and actual controller is the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party. Hafez al Assad legitimized dictatorship and tyranny through a provision included in Article 8 of the 1973 Constitution, which literally states that the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party is the leader of the state and society.
The Assad family’s absolute control of the reins of power in Syria is further cemented by the conflation of the Presidency of the Republic with the post of Secretary-General of the Ba’ath Party in Syria, both of which are dynastic, passing from Hafez al Assad to his son Bashar al Assad.
This article, which contradicts the most basic principles of human rights and democracy, remained in force until the creation of a ‘new’ constitution in February 2012, which altered the previous one in minor detail only, with no perceptible difference in its application on the ground, and according to which the Ba’ath Party retained absolute control, with the Secretary-General’s position remaining exclusively in the hands of the Assad family, being available to no other member of the party, with the Ba’ath Party controlling the majority of two-thirds of the seats in all parliamentary elections that have taken place since the Syrian revolution started, in the 2012, 2016, and 2020 elections.
Published on Syria TV’s Website (in Arabic)
View full article