Syria Baath Party Leadership Replaced, including VP Al-Sharaa

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syria's ruling Baath party, headed by the country's embattled President Bashar Assad, announced on Monday that its top leadership would be replaced, including Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa.

Assad, meanwhile, called on the party to "develop" and work more closely with the people in order to help end the country's 27-month war, state media said.

The party's central committee "held a lengthy meeting... on Monday morning," at which "a new national leadership was chosen", the Baath party website said.

It published the names of 16 members of the new leadership, which included none of the party's old chiefs with the exception of Assad.

The website said Assad would remain the party's secretary general.

Sharaa, who has been Syria's vice president since 2006, will remain in office despite his removal from the party leadership.

Among those newly elected to the party leadership are parliament chief Jihad al-Laham and Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi.

"The party must develop in step with reality on the ground, and promote a culture of dialogue and voluntary action by the people," Assad said at the meeting, according to state news agency SANA.

He said the party needed "to put in place new... criteria for the selection of party representatives, in order for them to be able to achieve (society's) objectives... and to strengthen citizens' roles in order to overcome" the current crisis.

Bassam Abu Abdullah, director of the Damascus Center for Strategic Studies, said the overhaul was the result of deep-seated discontent within the Baath party.

"There has been a lot of criticism from within the base towards the leadership, which has been accused of being inflexible, both before and since the crisis," he said, referring to the Syrian uprising.

"A complete change indicates the failure of leadership and the dissatisfaction from within the Baath party base," he told Agence France Presse.

A second Syrian analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reshuffle was as a result of "the old leadership's inability to take the initiative and confront the crisis".

He noted that the newly appointed leaders include a former ambassador, ex-Syrian envoy to Egypt Yussef Ahmad, for the first time.

"They've decided to bring in a younger leadership that is seen as more open to the international community," he told AFP.

The overhaul means that for the first time none of the members of the party's leadership is a member of the Syrian intelligence forces.

The Baath party has been in power since March 8, 1963 and is the most powerful political party in Syria.

Monday's meeting of the party's central committee was the first since 2005, when much of the previous old guard was replaced.

The move comes against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011 with peaceful anti-government protests but has become a bloody civil war estimated to have killed more than 100,000 people.

Comments 18
Missing idris_gray 08 July 2013, 16:23

Baathism has done zero for the arab world except for brutality, oppression and fragmentation. thank god it is on its death bed....

Thumb benzona 08 July 2013, 17:31

LoL banima.

Thumb liberty 08 July 2013, 20:11

roflma @Bani..!

Thumb _mowaten_ 09 July 2013, 11:26

true. salafism and takfirism have done so much more.

Missing zahle_nights 08 July 2013, 16:27

"It published the names of 16 members of the new leadership, which included none of the party's old chiefs with the exception of Assad." Why did they even bother doing this.. The big ASSad is still there...
"The website said Assad would remain the party's secretary general." He will stay until the day when they hang him upside-down (The Mossilini ending in WWII)
"The Baath party has been in power since March 8, 1963" And they wonder why the Syrian people asking for freedom... Isn't it about time this low life dictator and his family give up power already... It is coming... Hopefully soon the news will read as: "The Baath party has been in power since March 8, 1963 and it ended in 2013 after hanging the ASSad dictator upside-down in Damascus Square".

Thumb benzona 08 July 2013, 17:06

Old sharks replaced by younger sharks with sharper teeth.

Thumb lebanon_first 08 July 2013, 17:07

satanic beast... you found the exact words ya starsky

Thumb benzona 08 July 2013, 17:30

À votre service ^^*

Thumb liberty 08 July 2013, 20:14

Good point you have Josh-Bustany:) Welcome back golden boy:)

Missing VINCENT 08 July 2013, 22:04

And the soap opera continues. How long has this region been killing each other, and no one has found a solution to co-exist peacefully yet? Either leave Lebanon alone or partition please.

Missing samiam 08 July 2013, 23:12

wow dude

just wow...

Missing beirutbastard00 09 July 2013, 00:02

Haha they're getting ready for the elections that will,eventually have to happen, I think. They're changing all the names, washing away the party's past mistakes, and creating community groups for the people to get to know who they are, before elections.

Sara7a, this guy might be smarter than any of u think... Or at least his advisers are.

Missing aslan7aram 09 July 2013, 01:04

and the winner is Assad! man of the century

Missing beirutbastard00 09 July 2013, 01:53

Lol I like how you and rft are doing the sarcastic thing in ur posts.

Missing helicopter 09 July 2013, 02:46

As long as the evolution is centered around a dictatorship core. Party of life resulted in 100,000 lives, could you imagine the numbers if it was a party of death.... ya wayli.

Missing helicopter 09 July 2013, 02:43

How could a progressive-minded and secular Baathist like you be allied with a backward Islamist Republic governed by a Godly Supreme Leader? Was it Sectarian allegiance you think?

Thumb jabal10452 09 July 2013, 03:01

Mr Bustani: you like to believe that Iraq was a golden country in the 80's. Did it become golden after the gassing 4 000 kurds or was it golden all along, and the massacre just added to the shine? My friend, I'm afraid you suffer from acute delusion. Please seek help.

Thumb terminator 09 July 2013, 06:05

Is that why hafez let the Americans invade from his soil into Iraq in the early 90's?