Carnegie: An interview with SNCB member Maram Daoud

maram 

ARON LUND

 

The most important such group is the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, or NCB, which is Syria’s largest alliance of non-violent and anti-interventionist dissidents. Assad’s more militant opponents often accuse the reformist and secularist NCB of serving as a fig leaf for repression, or even of active collaboration, but the group contains some high-profile opposition veterans. Though it has little influence over the rebellion, including NCB leaders in the government would be a first for Assad’s regime.

A LACK OF COMMON GROUND

However, trust is lacking all around, and the Syrian regime has never been in the habit of offering free concessions. There are no indications that Assad is ready to let anyone not under his control join the government—and absent real reform plans, the NCB isn’t interested anyway.

“We don’t care about Assad’s speech,” says the NCB’s Central Committee member Maram Daoud in an e-mail interview. He had no faith in the regime-rigged electoral process and has no hope that Assad will opt for real change as a result of it. “I think he’ll extend the government to say that he’s reforming the regime but no opposition will be included—only pro-regime parties.”

In the NCB’s view, Assad should instead implement the Geneva communiqué, a document from 2012 that commits the Syrian government to a peaceful transfer of power via negotiations and democratic consultation. But the president clearly has no appetite for that. Apart from government-backed pseudo-dissidents that are already at the ruling family’s beck and call, certain unthreatening opposition figures or defected rebels may well be allowed into a new cabinet, and the regime is certain to continue to promote a ‘national dialogue’ on its own terms. Perhaps there will in fact be some coup de théâtre shifting the international discourse about Syria on July 17 or when the new government is formed—but genuine power sharing in Syria will remain as distant as ever.

Source: Carnegie

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