September 22, 2005

SPEAKING OF READING THE WRITING ON THE WALL:

In Syria, democrats chomp at bit: Anticipating a new law that will allow the creation of political opposition parties, some Syrians aren't waiting. (Rhonda Roumani, 9/23/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

[I]n June, the Baath Party Congress recommended the establishment of a new political party law that would allow the creation of new nonethnic and nonreligious political parties.

Since then, Samir Nashar, a wealthy businessman from Aleppo, has spent weeks on the road, personally recruiting prominent intellectuals, economists, and businessmen to join the National Free Coalition, a new party that hopes to represent Syria's bourgeoisie.

But in a country where new political parties still remain illegal and gatherings of four or more people may be punishable by jail, Nashar's recruitment drive is proving difficult.

"Because of the security services, people don't know how the government will respond to announcements of political parties," said Nashar. "So even though people like our project, they remain fearful of joining."

While analysts say a new party law could take as long as two years to pass, the mere anticipation of such a law has ignited discussions among activists about what new political parties could look like.

And some of the country's boldest activists are looking to jump start the whole process.


Unlike Hosni Mubarak, there's no way Baby Assad wins a popular election.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 22, 2005 6:22 PM
Comments

Shouldn't that be "champ" at the bit?

Posted by: obc at September 22, 2005 7:29 PM
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