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Syrias One-sided Democratic Elections - Term Paper Example

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"Syria’s One-sided Democratic Elections" paper follows scrutinizes current political structure in Syria, its development and exposes its flaws and challenges for democracy. A parliamentary republic in which the power vests in its president and Ba’ath party, Syria’s democratic system is artificial…
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Syrias One-sided Democratic Elections
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Download file to see previous pages On April 17, 1946 Syria declared its independence although its political culture would be characterized by instability and turbulence desptie economic success.  A series of coups and military rule followed until  Hafez al-Assad and his Ba’ath Socialist Party came to power after a military coup in 1970.  al-Assad remained in power until his death in June of 2000 after which his son Bashar al-Assad assumed office. Bashar al-Assad was elected by virtue of a referendum in which he ran unopposed and received approximately 97 percent of the vote.

The latest elections took place in Syria in April and May of this year. The Presidential elections took place on May 17 and the legislative elections took place a month earlier on April 22 and 23. Local Elections were conducted in August of this year as well.3 Again the presidential elections were unilateral in the sense that Bashar al-Assad ran unopposed and secured at least 97 per cent of the votes.4 Despite Bashar’s pledge to pursue a demoncratic structure for Syria5 the very practice and make up of governmental elections suggest otherwise. The discussion that follows scrutinizes the current political structure in Syria, its development and exposes its flaws and challenges for democracy.
A parliamentary republic in which the power vests in its president and Ba’ath party, Syria’s democratic system is artificial. Beneath the system a strong authoritarian government emerges. There is no denying however, that despite its democratic weakness, since Hafiz al-Assad came to power Syria has enjoyed a long and uninterrupted stable regime.6 Eyal Zisser explains that:

“Under his rule Syria enjoyed unprecedented political stability that enabled Hafiz al-Asad to turn that state from a weak political entity lacking legitimacy into an influential and respected regional power.”

Characterized primarily by a communal and familial design, the Ba’ath party under the al-Assads is viewed as the party and the power that delivered political stability to Syria, at least locally. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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