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Syria allows political parties

Published time: July 25, 2011 21:56
Edited time: July 26, 2011 07:30

Syria's government has approved a law that allows for the formation of political parties other than President's Bashar Assad's ruling Baath party. Opposition movements were banned when the Baathists came to power in 1963.

­The law is part of a series of reforms promised by Assad to try and quell months of protests against his regime.

Meanwhile, the EU is calling for more UN pressure on Syria, pledging to pursue its policy against Damascus for the regime’s crackdown on protesters.

Veteran Mideast journalist Alan Hart says Western countries are prioritizing their own interests.

“The interest of the West is in getting rid of the minority ruling group of the country,” he said. “I would assume that British and US policies want Syria detached from Iran.”

­Political scientist Benjamin Barber says this change in legislature is nothing more than a charade.

“A multi-party political system will not bring about the beginning of the end of the uprising. It is just a formal and technical change,” stated Barber. “The reality is this government cannot afford to have a genuine multi-party approach. I do not believe that this is anything more than an attempt to [hold off] the uprising for a while. It will not lead to multi-party democracy and it is not going to stop the uprising.”

The UK, US, France and others have talked about wanting change in Syria, but they are being hypocritical, Barber told RT.

“They are not really putting any pressure on Syria of the kind they put on Libya,” he said. “No one is moving to look for an alternative to Assad. The West does not like Assad, but he is the known evil, and the West is very worried about what the unknown alternative might look like. They will do little to remove Assad, so he is making those little noises about democracy.”

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