The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) Youth, in cooperation with the Office of Studies and Documentation, held a panel discussion under the title “Indexes of Democracy and Freedoms in Syria” at the SOC’s office in the town of Azaz in rural Aleppo.
The panel was held under the supervision of the SOC’s Vice-president and Coordinator of the Youth Office, Ruba Habboush, and Head of the Studies and Documentation Office, Riyad Al-Hassan. It brought together members of the SOC’s General Assembly, the political committee, groupings, political parties and volunteer teams operating in the liberated areas.
Al-Hassan talked about the 2020 Democracy Index issued by The Economist Intelligence Unit which monitored 165 independent countries and two regions in 2020. It rates the level of democracy based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture, and civil liberties.
He noted that ranking Syria at the bottom of the table of the Democracy Index was not surprising in view of the fact that Syria do not have free elections whatsoever. The report cited the widespread manipulation of the so-called elections at the presidential, legislative, local, and unions levels. These manipulations have been a central aspect of the Assad regime for the past five decades as elections are managed by the Ministry of Interior with the results being decided by the notorious security services.
Al-Hassan pointed out that the index categorizes each country into one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes. He also said that the index confirmed that Syria is ruled by a tyrannical regime that has brought unbearable suffering on the Syrian people over the past decade. The international community must therefore take measures to strip the Assad regime of legitimacy; prosecute its symbols; and bring them to the international courts of justice.
Participants stressed that the Syrian revolution exposed the brutality of the Assad regime which has committed all types of violations and showed utter disregard to the international norms and conventions. It is therefore imperative to establish effective mechanisms for stripping the Assad regime of the seats it occupies in international and regional bodies and hand them over to alternate entities suggested by the SOC. They also stressed that societal awareness, bearing responsibilities and fulfilling obligations is the true guarantor to achieving this. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)