Syrian Brotherhood Faces Internal Problems As Internal Elections Approach

Regional conflict between the Hama and Aleppo branches is complicating the election, according to al-Modon.

Two months ago, the Syrian brothers began preparing for the next electoral term, which will, in addition to the position of Comptroller General, include both the Shura Council and the governorate committees (consultative committees). 

In addition to the “conflict of generations and ideas,” another problem that has long plagued the Syrian Brotherhood is “regionalism,” where the group has fallen victim to competition over the past decades between the Aleppo and Hama blocs. 

Although this issue was tried to be overcome in the last election, by choosing a Comptroller General from the city of Lattakia, Mohammed Hikmat Walid, “the centers of real power remained dominant, allowing their differences and problems to continue,” according to a former leader of the group who preferred not to be named. 

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However, Bassel Haffar, a researcher at the Edraak Center for Studies, confirms that things within the group are going pretty well. He noted that “although the issue of the next Comptroller General is not resolved yet, the Syrian Brotherhood generally has a clear perception of what things should be like in the next stage.” 

“From my briefing, I can confirm that there is no conflict or division within the group regarding candidates for various positions, and on the contrary, I see that the arrangements are going well, and there is consensus on many points, and in points of disagreement. What is happening is merely a natural divergence of views within the limits of supporting this or that option,” he told Al-Modon. 

Al-Busalameh is a strong candidate 

According to Al-Modon sources, most of the nominations are in favor of Amer al-Busalameh to be the Comptroller next year. He is considered a middle choice between the Aleppo and Hama blocs, and between the older generation and the new generation. 

Born in Deir-ez-zor in 1960, Busalameh holds a doctorate in Sharia from the University of Baghdad. He has lived for more than a decade in Turkey, where many Brotherhood members have moved since 2011. 

Although Bousalameh is a consensual figure and is accepted by various parties and generations within the group, his victory as Comptroller General does not seem to be decided, says Haffar, who asserts that Mohamed Hikmat Walid’s chances of a new term remain present. 

However, the former leader, who spoke to Al-Modon in this regard, did not seem optimistic that the Syrian Brotherhood could overcome the problems it suffers so easily. He considered the failure to open channels of communication with the leaders and cadres who resigned from the group during the past years is an indication of the continuation of the same approach that led to heavy losses suffered by the organization. 

Over the past years, many of the faces from the younger generation have left the group to establish new political parties and formations, or to devote themselves to independent political and academic work. Examples would be such as Ahmed Ramadan and Yassin al-Najjar (National Action Movement), Obeida al-Nahas (National Renewal Movement), Mohammed al-Sarmini (Jusoor Center for Studies) and others. 

On the other hand, many prominent figures from the middle generation remained in the group, with no access to advanced leadership positions in it. The most prominent of these names are: the political activist in Italy Hakam al-Fendi, Najib Ghadban in Britain, and Dr. Saleh Mubarak and his brother Hisham Mubarak in the United States, among others.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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