National Progressive Front (Syria)
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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 2011, only parties participating in the NPF have been legally permitted to operate in Syria. The Legislative Decree on Parties law of 2011, Legislative Decree on General Elections Law of 2011 and the new Syrian constitution of 2012 introduced multi-party system in Syria.
The NPF is composed of ten political parties:
- Syrian Regional Branch of the 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
- Socialist Unionists
- Democratic Socialist Unionist Party
- Arabic Democratic Unionist Party
- National Vow Movement
- Seale, Patrick, Asad, the Struggle for the Middle East, University of California Press, 1989, p.176
- SANA Syrian News Agency - Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic Approved in Popular Referendum on February 27, 2012, Article 8
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