Rifa’t Assad, estranged and banished brother of late Syrian President Hafez Assad, considers himself the legitimate successor to the post, AFP said, quoting his spokesman as telling the BBC Arabic service Monday.
"Rifaat al-Assad represents the true legitimacy and is ready to take up his responsibilities at any moment," Hafez Kheir said.
Rifa’t, 63, was stripped of his post of vice-president by his elder brother, who died Saturday, in 1998 and now lives in Europe, said the agency.
The political machinery in Damascus is in the process of propelling Hafez Assad's son Bashar, 34, into the presidency.
Kheir slammed the Syrian authorities, describing them as "ill-advised" and "incapable of making the right judgment of the situation," AFP said.
He called for "all popular forces to work together to get Syria out of its difficult situation."
Asked about Rifa’t eventual return to Damascus, Kheir said he was expecting the Syrian authorities to issue an arrest warrant against him.
Security sources Monday told Albawaba.com that they received orders to arrest Rifa’t upon his arrival in Damascus in case he decided to attend the funeral of the late Syrian president – Albawaba.com
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