Since 2011, Syria has undergone major shifts based on a number of factors, the most important of which was the revolution, which erupted in the spring of that year. Many impurities continue to mar the governing system and the mechanisms for implementing change, and the local council elections that were held days ago may be one of the most prominent events clarifying these impurities. While the new law allows all licensed parties to participate, regardless of the view of the Baath Party Directorate in the region, district or city, the results remained within the scope of the continuing dominance of the Baath Party, which has authoritatively held the reins of power since 1963, after the coup of Mar. 8, 1963.
The Syrian pro-regime Al-Watan newspaper, in its edition issued on Oct. 7, 2018, reported that, “The central committee of the Arab Socialist Baath Party announced it reached a number of organizational decisions, most importantly using the term ‘Central Leadership’ instead of ‘National Leadership’ while also ending use of the term ‘National Party Secretary’ and using the term ‘General Secretary,’ as well as the term ‘National Assistant Secretary’ and replacing it with ‘General Assistant Secretary.’ The terms ‘Members of the National Leadership’ will also be replaced with the term ‘Members of the Central Leadership’ and the term ‘National Conference’ will be changed to ‘General Conference.’” According to the newspaper, other decisions will be taken at the next session on Monday, which is expected to see “the election of a Secretary General for the party’s Central Committee,” which is a new position established as part of the recent changes in the Baath Party’s organizational structure.
Before this step, the Baath Party's National Leadership was dissolved and a National Council was formed in its place on May 14, 2017. President Bashar al-Assad, announced that the "formation of a National Council for the Baath Party is a fundamental change in the party's organizational formula." At a meeting with a delegation of the National Leadership in Damascus, he said that the 14th National Conference of the Baath Party will address the formation of the National Council.” Assad added that, "the formation of the National Council reflects the dynamism of Baath ideas, which are still able to acclimate according to the surrounding conditions without abandoning their principles."
Member of Syrian Parliament Mohamed Maher Mohamed said in a statement to the Russian Sputnik agency that dissolving the National Leadership last year was "a result of the conditions that various Arab countries were passing," adding that the decision was taken at the "tenth national conference in 2005.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.