Qatar Press Slams Claim to Presidency of Assad's Brother

Published June 13th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Qatar's newspapers on Tuesday slammed the late Syrian President Hafez Assad's brother Rifa’t, who has contested the accession to power of the late leader's son Bashar. 

"The grave statements of Rifa’t Assad come at a time when preparations for a smooth transition of power are being finished," Watan said. 

Rifa’t, 63, exiled by Hafez in 1986 in a dispute over the succession, said Damascus violated the constitution by ignoring "the will of the masses" and naming Bashar, 34, as candidate for the top job after his father's death Saturday. 

"The constitution has been amended to modify the age of the candidate to the presidency. This has received the backing of the ruling party and the armed forces which enjoys massive public support," the paper argued. 

"Syria and the Arab world must condemn this dissenting voice raised when a smooth transition of power is underway. 

"Syria needs a united front internally and stability of power to overcome the challenge of liberating its occupied territory in the face of Israel's intransigence and US impartiality," Watan said. 

"Personal ambition for power only servee to unsettle internal stability." 

Raya newspaper, meanwhile, said Rifa’t Assad was "only driven by the desire to take power by any means." 

"Rifa’t Assad's calls aim to shatter Syria's unity and bring about total anarchy," the paper said – DOHA (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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