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Elections of Muslim Brotherhood in Syria: Clash Between Two Projects or Interests?

Ghadban's election is particularly likely to strengthen Turkey's influence in the divided Syrian opposition, according to al-Hal Net.
Elections of Muslim Brotherhood in Syria: Clash Between Two Projects or Interests?

The group is preparing for a close round of elections likely to take place in December, in light of a competition between the old leadership of the elderly and the younger generation. However, can its project in the seventies and eighties of the 20th century, and its previous figures, structure and mechanisms of work outside Syria  continue? Or does this election cause the group’s division, which is witnessing internal wars between the projects of “youth” and “elderly”? 

The 2022 Muslim Brotherhood leadership elections are a key test of whether the Brotherhood can make the changes needed to strengthen the organization and its role in the country, or whether it will continue to be dependent on countries, most notably Turkey, as its agenda was previously. 

The group’s German-based member, Abdelhamid Tayfour, explained to al-Hal Net that while the Brotherhood is often described as one of the most effective forces in the Syrian opposition in exile, it has faced significant divisions within its ranks. 

Previously, with the arrival of Mohamed Hikmat Walid at the helm of the group as Comptroller General in 2015, many expected that there would be a new change in the group’s march, especially as it broke the regional cordon in the struggle for the group’s leadership. However, this hope was little overshadowed and faded under the weight of internal organizational treatments to which the new Comptroller seems to have surrendered. 

At the end of the electoral period of the current Comptroller, Mohamed Hikmat Walid, after he exhausted his legal term for two sessions in the leadership of the group, Tayfour confirmed that two names issued to take over are Amer al-Busalama, the current deputy general controller, and Hossam Ghadban, who was deputy general controller in the previous session. 

Muslim Brotherhood Elections in Syria: Is There Fundamental Change?

However, for some members, these options are not a strong enough signal for change, especially becayse the Brotherhood since its founding does not trust that the youth will lead its leadership. Many expected the appointment of a charismatic young man committed to changing the Brotherhood from within by allowing more transparency in the decision-making process and enhancing the role of youth at all levels of the organization, most notably Molham Droubi, Omar Mashouh, and Hassan al-Hashimi, who until an earlier period had been young and influential members within the group for years. 

Tayfour believes that the election of previous names is unlikely to lead to significant changes in the Muslim Brotherhood’s outlook. 

Regionally, Tayfour believes Ghadban’s election is particularly likely to strengthen Turkey’s influence in the divided Syrian opposition. His political platform is ideologically close to that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).   

Therefore, an assessment of objective indicators of democratic participation, such as electoral practices, treaty formation, policy adaptation, and executive government approaches, proves that the group’s “elderly” still cling to its failed ideology, especially in recent years. They are excluding young people from the group’s ranks, especially as its hope of governing Syria was dashed after Ankara stated its intention to restore relations with Damascus.


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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