Assad, 69: Syria in Mourning Following Death of President

Published June 10th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Syria plunged into grief and political uncertainty following the death of Syrian president Hafez Assad this morning at the age of 69. The Syrian television announced the death of Assad as the People’s Assembly met in an emergency session to mourn the late president who suffered from illness for years. 

The Syrian television showed Assembly members crying during the session. 

Assad, an Alawite, took office in 1971 in a coup that toppled former president Nouriddin Al Atasi. 

Following the announcement of Assad’s death the People’s Assembly decided to name a five-member panel to be led by the Assembly’s Speaker Abdel Qader Qaddoura to amend the constitution. Al-Jezira satallite channel said Qaddoura was due to be named as acting president according to the constitution.  

The Syrian television announced that the ruling Baath party congress will meet on June 17. The Congress was due to meet earlier to elect Assad’d son, Bashar, as party leadership member in a move that was to put him in the reigns of power following the death of his father.-Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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