Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party

  • Name: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي – قطر سوريا or Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-Arabi Al-Ishtiraki (in Arabic), Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (in English). Generally called just the Ba'ath Party.
  • Year founded: 1947 - by Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar as a Pan-Arab party
  • Ideology: Ba'athist (originally - nowadays little of Ba'athism remains about the party), Authoritarian, Statist
  • Current leader & function: Bashar al-Assad
  • Number of seats in parliament: 134 out of 250, since May 2012 elections
  • Currently in government or in opposition: In government
  • Legal status: Legal political party
  • Link to official party website
  • Observations: Once the ideological vanguard of the Syrian state, the Ba'ath Party progressively degenerated into first, an authoritarian state apparatus and second, an empty shell functioning mainly as a patronage network, virtually indistinguishable from the state itself. On Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000, his son Bashar was named simultaneously President of Syria and head of the Ba'ath Party.