Bashar Assad to Become Syria's Vice President for Security

Published May 31st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Bashar Assad, the heir apparent to his father, Syrian President Hafez Assad, is due to be appointed Vice President for internal security in his country after the Ba'ath Party names him to its ruling council on June 17, according to Jordanian weekly Al Majid, quoted Wednesday by Haaretz. 

Meanwhile, according to Tishrin, the leading Damascus daily, Mohammed Haidar, who was deputy prime minister for economic affairs in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has vanished after a court ordered his arrest on corruption charges. Haidar was stripped of his government job and party posts last year and has not been seen in public in Syria for months. 

The anti-corruption campaign led by Bashar is being carried out in a surprisingly public manner in a country where criticism of the regime is rarely allowed, said the Israeli daily, adding the crusade can also be viewed as a purge in preparation for a ruling Ba'ath party conference next month. The June 17 meeting, at which a new party leadership will be chosen, will be the first party congress in 15 years. 

On Monday, the government imposed a freeze on the assets and property of Haidar's successor, Salim Yassin, pending the outcome of a corruption inquiry. Yassin was the latest top official to be investigated over corruption after former Prime Minister Mahmoud Zu’bi committed suicide on May 21 after he was accused of corruption, and his assets seized. 

Zu’bi had resigned and his Cabinet was dissolved March 7 after he had served as prime minister for more than 12 years – Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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