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El marc polític de Síria

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Bashar al-Assad (since July 2000, re-elected in May 2021)
Vice President : Najah al-Attar (since March 2006)
Prime Minister: Hussein Arnous (since 30 August 2020)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2028
Legislative: 2024
Current Political Context
Syria has been experiencing a devastating war since 2011, in which neighbouring countries or groups and major powers, including Turkey, Iran, the United States and Russia, and their allies are involved. Supported by Russia and Iran, but still under sanctions from the United States and European countries, Bashar al-Assad's regime has taken over a large part of the country, but the clashes continue. Russia, Iran and Hezbollah provide the military and logistical support necessary to maintain the Damascus regime.

In October 2019, former United States President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of American troops from north-eastern Syria, leaving room for a Turkish offensive in a Kurdish-dominated region. Criticised and sanctioned by the EU and the United States, this offensive charged with ethnic cleansing accusation is said to have caused hundreds of civilian deaths and to have displaced more than 175,000 people. According to the UN, nearly 300,000 Syrians were displaced from southern Idlib in the last two weeks of December 2019, and the situation worsened then, as Syrian government forces and their Russian allies intensified the bombing. In March 2020, a new ceasefire was agreed between Russia and Turkey. However, like the previous ones, it remained fragile, as shown by the October 2020 Russian air strikes and by the persistence of violence in 2021. International media continue to report that Turkey may be preparing a large-scale incursion into the area (Security Council Report).

At the May 2021 presidential elections, Bashar al-Assad won 95.2% of total votes, securing a fourth seven-year presidential term. Improved diplomatic and economic ties with the neighbouring countries, notably Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, lead some analysts to think that the normalization process may cause Damascus to demonstrate less commitment to the political track (Security Council Report). The country is in a dire situation, exacerbated by the United States Caesar Act sanctions package (from the code name of a military photographer who escaped from Syria with more than 50,000 images of torture and death taken inside the regime's prisons), which came into force in 2020. The Astana and Geneva talks did not produce any concrete results. Apart from Bashar al-Assad's regime, US sanctions also target Iran, Syria's key ally alongside Russia. Indeed, Syria is the scene of clashes between Israel and the United States on the one hand, and Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah on the other. In 2021, Syria continued to be the target of airstrikes from Israel, Iran and Russia. If the Islamic State organisation is officially defeated since 2019, the movement is reconstituting itself in the deserts of central Syria, killing government forces in hit-and-run attacks, while an underground insurgency continues in southern Syria.
Main Political Parties
The main political coalition in power in Syria, the National Progressive Front (FNP), brings together parties supporting the nationalist and socialist policies of President Al-Assad.
It regroups :
- Party "Baath", or Socialist Party of the Arab Renaissance: party of President Assad, in power since 1949
- Party of Unionist Socialists
- The Communist Party of Syria
- Social Democratic Unionists
- Syrian Social Nationalist Party
Amendments to the Constitution in February 2012 theoretically allow the existence of a multiparty system, removing the clause imposing the Baath Party at the head of the state and society. Despite this, the May 2012 elections, which took place in the midst of a rebellion against the government, were largely boycotted by the main opposition parties. The latter have long survived in hiding or in exile, like the Islamist or Kurdish parties, which the Constitution prohibits in the name of their religious or sectarian character.
The main opposition party is the Syrian National Council (CNS): opposes President Al-Assad and seeks to establish a state.
Executive Power
The President is the head of state. He is elected by popular referendum for seven years. The president is the commander-in-chief of the army and holds executive power. It can declare war, issue laws, amend the constitution and appoint civilian and military personnel. He also appoints the Prime Minister (head of government) and his Council of Ministers, for as long as he wishes.
Legislative Power
The legislative power is unicameral in Syria. The parliament is called the People's Council (Majlis al-Shaab). It has 250 seats and its members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. Syria has been under a state of emergency since 1963, which gives the President special powers.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Source: World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Not Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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Actualitzacions: January 2023

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