||"A historical political resource."
National Progressive Front
|Last Edited||RBH - February 25, 2013 06:11pm|
|Description||The National Progressive Front (Arabic: الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية, al-Jabha al-Wataniyyah at-Taqaddumiyyah, NPF), established in 1972, is a coalition of political parties in Syria that support the socialist and Arab nationalist orientation of the government and accept the "leading role in society" of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, (the biggest party in the NPF). |
The Front was established by Syrian president Hafiz al-Asad to provide for a limited degree of participation in government by political parties other than the ruling Ba'ath Party. Its constitution provides that the Ba'ath Party controls 50% plus one of the votes on its executive committee. A number of seats in the People's Council of Syria are reserved for members of NPF parties other than the Ba'ath Party. These minor parties are legally required to accept the leadership of the Ba'ath Party. The non-Ba'athist parties in the Progressive Front, for example, are not allowed to canvass for supporters in the army or the student body which are "reserved exclusively for the Ba'ath."
From 1972 to date, only parties participating in the NPF have been legally permitted to operate in Syria. There is currently considerable discussion in Syria regarding a proposed new law which will allow political parties to be formed more generally: it is as yet unclear whether the parties to be licensed under this law would be required to join the NPF. Traditionally, the parties of the NPF are socialist and/or Arab nationalist in orientation, but in 2005 the Syrian Social Nationalist Party was formally legalized and joined the front as the first non-Socialist, non-Arab nationalist party admitted to the NPF. Some have suggested this may allow toleration of broader ideological viewpoints within Syrian politics, but ethnically-based (Kurdish and Assyrian) movements continue to be repressed, and a strict ban on religious and right-wing parties is still enforced.
The NPF is composed of ten political parties:
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Arab Socialist Movement
Arab Socialist Union
Syrian Communist Party (Khalid Bakdash faction)
Syrian Communist Party (Yusuf Faisal faction)
Social Democratic Unionists
Democratic Socialist Unionist Party
Arabic Democratic Unionist Party
National Vow Movement
After previously being a part of NPF, Syrian Social Nationalist Party joined the opposition, Popular Front for Change and Liberation, for the May 2012 election to the parliament