Bashar al-Assad’s cabinet has approved a bill to allow independent political parties other than the Baath Party, which has been in control since 1963.
SANA a Syrian news agency reported that the bill prohibits parties founded on the basis of â€œreligion, tribal affiliation, regions, and professional organizations as well as those which discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or color.â€ This suggests the Kurdish nationalist parties may not be recognized, along with the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist party currently banned in Syria, but snowballing in popularity in Egypt where disillusioned citizens lack leadership they can believe in and trust.
It is hard to imagine however, that Assad’s intentions can be in anyway, good. He is, after all, a murderer.
Under the new law the government will retain control over the formation of parties that must apply for a license in order to operate. All new parties are also obliged to respect the constitution, which protects the dominance of the Baath party as the “leading party in state and society” despite Assad’s promises to look at altering it.
According to human rights groups, more than 1,500 civilians have been killed and more than 12,000 detained since the uprising started in March of 2011. Activists have reported ongoing detentions throughout the country and a persistent clampdown in the neighborhood of Bab Sbaa in Homs.
As predicted, protests have intensified in the week leading up to Ramadan when diplomats and analysts say they expect demonstrations to grow in size and frequency.
With the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in February, Israel’s relations with Egypt have been turned on their head. It is a game of waiting. Will a treaty between Egypt and Israel hold? Will Muslim Brotherhood take more than 50 percent of Parliament seats? If yes, does it mean direct threat? Imminent danger for the Jewish State? Is everything going to be alright after all?
Ahead of legislative elections, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has reportedly joined forces with 17 Egyptian political parties â€“ both liberal, secular and religious alike â€“ to concretize a mutual platform. Involved in the joint platform are such political parties as Brotherood’s Freedom and Justice Party, the more liberal Wafd party, the leftist Tagammu and the brand new Salafi (Muslim Fundamentalist) Noor party.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces â€“ which took the governmental reins after Hosni Mubarak was ousted â€“ has set the parliamentary elections for a date in September.
Despite these signs of modernity and democracy from the Brotherhood, Chairman Mohammed Badie held an interview on Egyptian television, indicating as Caroline Glick paraphrased:
“That the Brotherhood will end any thought of democracy in Egypt by taking control over the media. Badie said that the Brotherhood is about to launch a public news channel,” committed to the “ethics of the society and the rules of the Islamic faith.”
Mr. Badie recently said in an interview:
“Mubarak tries to black mail Obama by using Muslim Brotherhood name to remain in charge of on going chaos. All 1.57 billion Muslims are part of Muslim Brotherhood excluding Mubarak, he is member of Israel Brotherhood, he can go Israel and live there.”
Jerusalem Post in February reported Badie saying:
“Asked on CNN if his organization would support the maintenance of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Mohamed Morsy, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, dodged a direct answer but said Israel had failed to honor the treaty. He said it would be up to the Egyptian parliament to decide on the fate of the treaty, and that the parliament would reflect the will of the people.”