Banned Syrian Parties to Apply for Licenses
By Nabil Al Mulhem
Banned political parties in Syria are planning to apply for licenses that legalize their activities, according to partisan sources.
The sources told Albawaba.com that the Democratic National Party (DNP), headed by Karim Shibani, and the Democratic Arab Union (DAU), headed by former minister Youssef Jueidani intend to work in broad daylight after years of underground activity.
Also, a breakaway party from DAU, which has the same name and led by Ghassan Othman, has decided to obtain official permission to join the authorized parties. On the list also is the Fayez Shahrastan’s Pan-National Syrian Social Party, added the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Observers see that the tabooed parties have taken advantage of the trend to openness in Syria, that was coupled with the rise to power of the new president Bashar Assad, following the death of his father, Hafez, on June 6th.
Meanwhile, the leading businessman, Riad Seif, did not deny that he, among an array of economic and political figures in the republic, have plans to set up a political assembly. A key player in the planned party is Aref Dalilah, a professor of economics at Damascus University.
Sources close to Seif confirmed that he has already contacted candidates for the assembly.
Since the early 1990s, Seif has been a symbol of liberal opposition who has harshly criticized the government, and has been seen as a vehement opponent to the authority in the country.
The sources believed that Seif’s proposed political grouping would not include names that belong to the old Guard, nor pro-globalization powers. Rather, they said, the group will adopt a nationalist economic approach, echoing the political ideology that prevailed in the 1950s.
On their part, parties of the Progressive National Front, the ruling coalition led by the Baath party, did not show reservation on the new trend.
Secretary general of the Syrian Communist Party Abdul Wahab Rashwani said that his party welcomes newcomers to the political life in Syria – Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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