Ba'ath Party (Iraqi-dominated faction)
- This article should not be confused with the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region, the Ba'ath Party's regional branch established in 1951.
|Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي
|Leader||Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri|
|Split from||Ba'ath Party (unitary)|
|Headquarters||de jure Baghdad, Iraq,
|Ideology||Ba'athism (Saddamist Ba'athism as of 1979)|
|Colors||Black, red, white and green (Pan-Arab colors)|
|Parliament of Algeria||Banned|
|Parliament of Bahrain|
|Parliament of Iraq||Banned|
|Parliament of Jordan|
|Parliament of Lebanon|
|Parliament of Libya|
|Parliament of Mauritania||Banned|
|Parliament of Palestine|
|Parliament of Sudan|
|Parliament of Tunisia||To be elected|
|Parliament of Yemen|
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (also spelled Ba'th or Baath, "resurrection" or "renaissance"; Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-'Arabi Al-Ishtiraki), also referred to as the pro-Iraqi Ba'ath movement, is a Ba'athist political party headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq. It is one of two parties (with identical names) which emerged from the 1966 split of the original Ba'ath Party.
In 1966, the original Ba'ath Party was split in half; one half was led by the Damascus leadership of the Ba'ath Party which established a party in Syria, and the other half with its leadership in Baghdad. Both Ba'ath parties retained the same name and maintained parallel structures in the Arab world, but became so antagonistic that the Syrian Ba'ath regime became the only Arab government to support Iran against Iraq during the bloody Iran–Iraq War. Ba'athists seized power in Iraq for the first time in 1963, but were deposed several months later. The party's regional organisation governed Iraq between 1968 and 2003, for many years under the leadership of Saddam Hussein. The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region was banned in 2003 by the Coalition Provisional Authority following the invasion of Iraq.
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Following the 1966 Syrian coup d'état, which overthrew the Aflaqite faction led by Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din al-Bitar, Munif al-Razzaz and others, the original Ba'ath Party split into Iraqi-dominated and a Syrian-dominated ba'ath movements. The two movements established separate National Commands; the National Command was in theory the highest party body in both movements, and controlled their respective ba'athist movements. However, in both countries the National Command was under the control of its respective Regional Command. In the Iraqi-dominated Ba'ath movement, all National Command members came from their regional branch; for instance, there was always a member representing the Ba'ath Party branch in Jordan. In theory the National Command was the highest party organ between national congresses, with the power to control the affairs of Regional Commands in other regions (countries).
Delegates to a National Congress elected the members of the National Command, who were eligible for reelection. While the National Command had few de facto powers, many of its leading members also held seats in the Iraqi Regional Command and the Revolutionary Command Council. Aflaq was elected Secretary-General of the National Command at the Ninth National Congress, held in February 1968 in Beirut, Lebanon, by the Iraqi-dominated Ba'ath Party. He retained his post until his death in 1989, when he was succeeded by Saddam Hussein. After Saddam Hussein was executed on 30 December 2006, Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri became de facto leader of the Ba'ath Party on 3 January 2007. As Secretary of the Iraqi Regional Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, he is the highest-ranked surviving member of the party's hierarchy.
Branches by region 
The party branch in Algeria, the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party of Algeria (Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي في الجزائر Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-'Arabi Al-Ishtiraki fi Al-Jaza'ir; French: Parti Baath arabe socialiste d'Algérie), is led by Ahmed Choutri (secretary of the Regional Command). The party is banned, and Choutri was forced to flee to Iraq during the 1990s because of governmental repression against the Algerian Ba'ath movement. The party sympathises with the Iraqi ba'athist insurgency and supports Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri, leader of the Iraqi branch. Following his return to Algeria in 2003, Choutri wrote The Baathist Faith of President Saddam.
|RC Secretary||Hassan Ali|
The Nationalist Democratic Assembly (Arabic: التجمع القومي الديمقراطي, Al-Tajamu'u Al-Qawmi Al-Dimuqratiyah) represents the Iraqi-dominated Ba'ath Party in Bahrain. The group is led by Hassan Ali as Secretary General, and Mahmoud Kassab as Deputy Secretary General. It was established by Bahrainis who had studied in Ba'athist Iraq during the 1960s and 1970s. The party boycotted the 2002 parliamentary election but not the 2006 election. The 2011 parliamentary by-election was boycotted by the party in solidarity with the Bahraini uprising. It is headquartered in Zinj.
The party opposes the government's naturalisation policies, and contends that it is unfair for ethnic Bahrainis to compete equally with foreign workers for jobs. The Nationalist Democratic Assembly remains pro-Saddam Hussein and, according to its webpage, supports the Arab Spring. It opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, considering it an act of brutality against the Iraqi people. The party actively supports the overthrow of the existing monarchy, with a peaceful transition to democracy.
In Iraq, the Ba'ath party remained a civilian group and lacked strong support from the military. The party had little impact, and the movement split into several factions after 1958 and again in 1966. The movement was reported to have lacked strong popular support; however, through the construction of a strong party apparatus the party succeeded in gaining power. The Iraqi-based party was originally committed to Pan-Arabism (like its Syrian counterpart); after taking power in 1968 the party adopted Iraqi nationalism, and encouraging Iraqis to identify themselves as cultural heirs of Mesopotamia with a medieval-Islamic identity. Saddam Hussein sought to be seen as leader of a great, neo-Mesopotamian Iraqi nation by having himself compared to Nebuchadnezzar II and Hammurabi.
In June 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) banned the Ba'ath party. The additional step the CPA took—banning all members of the top four tiers of the Ba'ath Party from the new government, public schools and colleges—was criticized for blocking too many experienced people from participation in the new government. Thousands were removed from their positions, including doctors, professors, schoolteachers and bureaucrats. Many teachers lost their jobs, sparking protests at schools and universities. Under previous Ba'ath-party rule, one could not reach a high position in the government or a school without becoming a party member; party membership was a prerequisite for university admission. While many Ba'athists joined for ideological reasons, many more were members because it was a way to better their options. Following pressure by the US, the policy of de-Ba'athification was addressed by the Iraqi government in January 2008 with its controversial Accountability and Justice Act. This purported to ease the policy, but many feared it would lead to further dismissals. The Ba'ath Party is led by Saddam's former deputy, Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri.
|RC Secretary||Akram al-Homsi|
At the time of the 1966 split, the Jordanian branch had an estimated 1,000 members. It was active in the Arab Liberation Front (ALF); the ALF's first leader was the Jordanian, Zaid Haydar. Munif al-Razzaz, who joined the pro-Iraqi Ba'ath resistance in 1966, eventually became an ALF leader. From there, he climbed the party ladder and became a member of the National Command before he was placed under house arrest by Iraqi authorities. Shahir Abu Shahut became the first leader of the party branch in Jordan after the 1966 split.
The Ba'ath branch was denied legal registration in 1992. The party was legally registered in 1993, but forced to change its name from the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party to the Jordanian Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي الاردني Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-'Arabi Al-Ishtiraki Al-Urduniy). Since then, it has been led by Akram al-Homsi. Khalil Haddadeen, Jordan's former minister of information, was elected to Parliament during the 1993 and 1997 elections on a pro-Iraqi, pro-Saddam Hussein platform. In a 1995 poll 16.8 percent of Jordanians said they were aware that the Iraqi Ba'ath branch existed, making the Ba'ath branch the third-best-known political party in Jordan (surpassing the Arab Ba'ath Progressive Party, the Syrian Ba'athist branch in Jordan, by over 10 percent in the poll).
The Socialist Arab Lebanon Vanguard Party (Arabic: حزب طليعة لبنان العربي الاشتراكي, Hizb Al-Taliyeh Lubnan Al-'Arabi Al-Ishtiraki) is the party branch in Lebanon. The branch held its second congress in October 2011. Following the 1966 split, it was led by Abd al-Majid Rafi. Other prominent members at the time of the split were Jihad George Karam, Rafiq Nasib Alfaqiya, Karam Mohamed Assahli, Hani Mohamed Shoiab, Ammar Mohamed Shabli, Hassan Khalil Gharib and Asaf Habin Alharakat.
At first the pro-Iraqi Ba'ath branch and the pro-Syrian Ba'ath branch worked side-by-side in the National Front, but with tension increasing between the Syrian and Iraqi Ba'athist regimes the two parties were on a war footing. The party was active in 1960s demonstrations, and al-Rafi was detained by Lebanese authorities for his political activities; however, he was a candidate from Tripoli in the 1968 general election. The party expanded during the first half of the 1970s, and in the 1972 general election al-Rafi was elected to parliament from Tripoli; Ali al-Khalil, a former member, was elected from Tyre. The party was active in Southern Lebanon, and was built with generous aid from Iraq. During the Lebanese Civil War, the Lebanese parliament formed the National Dialogue Committee in 1975; Assem Qanso of the pro-Syrian Ba'ath Party became a member, but no figures from the pro-Iraqi Ba'ath Party were given a seat on the committee. Tahsein al-Atrash, leader of the Ba'ath branch at the time, was shot dead in November 1981. The party was a member of the Lebanese National Movement, a political organisation led by Walid Jumblatt of the Progressive Socialist Party; throughout its existence, it has controlled the Palestinian Arab Liberation Front.
Following the coup d'etat of 1969 against King Idris, a new revolutionary government was established led by Muammar Gaddafi. The government was recognised as Nasserist because the new regime proclaimed its goal as "liberty, socialism and unity", rather than "unity, liberty, socialism" (the Ba'ath Party's slogan). This change in order was important because of the ideological split between the ba'athists and the Nasserists. Following Gaddafi's revolution, several People's Committees were established. These committees (which, at the beginning, were led by the people) led to the arrest of several ba'athists.
Amr Taher Deghayes, founder of the Libyan Ba'ath branch, was later arrested by Gaddafi's security forces and died after three days in jail. Deghayes' death allegedly sparked a large anti-government demonstration (which was crushed), followed by the imprisonment of several leading Ba'athists. In 1982, a trial began in which 25 Libyan Ba'athists were charged with membership in an illegal organisation; they were freed after torture. The following year, they were re-tried on the same charge; three were sentenced to death, and others to life in prison. The arrests and trials of the 1980s led to the dissolution of the Libyan regional Ba'athist organisation.
The Libyan National Movement (LNM), an Arab-nationalist organisation, was founded by Baathist lawyer 'Umran Burweiss. The LNM (still in existence) was originally financed by Iraqi Ba'athists, and produced relatively high-quality propaganda materials. For example, it issued audio cassettes which were smuggled into Libya with Sawt at-Talia during the 1980s. The organisation also produced broadcasts for Radio Baghdad.
|RC Secretary||Mohamed Ould Abdellahi
The Mauritarian branch of the Iraqi-dominated Ba'ath Party was founded in 1991, during the Gulf crisis, as the National Vanguard Party (Arabic: حزب الطليعة الوطني, Hizb Al-Taliyeh Al-Watani, French: Parti Avant-Garde nationale or PAGN). The Mauritanian Ba'ath Party remains the largest Arab nationalist political force in the country. The branch has maintained good relations with the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party, even after Saddam Hussein's downfall following the United States invasion of Iraq. The party was able to field candidates for parliamentary seats during the 1992 parliamentary elections, and was the only party (with the exception of the Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal) to field candidates for senate elections. However, the party secured only one percent of the vote nationwide and did not secure a seat in either Parliament or the senate. Kabry Ould Taleb Jiddou, the party's leader, was awarded the office of Secretary of State by the newly-elected government because of his electoral campaign.
The branch supports full Arabisation of the country, a view considered racist by critics. President Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla introduced an anti-ba'athist policy which continued under his successor, Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. However, the Mauritanian government supported Iraq during the Gulf War; Iraq–Mauritania relations became so close that (inaccurate) rumours circulated internationally that Saddam's family had taken refuge in the country following the American invasion. Repression against the ba'athists has not been reduced; in 2003, several ba'athists were jailed on suspicion of trying to overthrow the government. A reason for the close relationship between Iraq and Mauritania was the strength of the Mauritanian ba'athist party. The party was banned in 1999, following the restoration of bilateral relations with Israel. The National Vanguard Party was accused of developing plans in collaboration with the Iraqi government to foment unrest in the country.
Mohamed Ould Abdellahi Ould Eyye, the party's leader, was arrested in 2003 after a large anti-government protest demanding that the government break off relations with Israel and the United States and aid Saddam Hussein. He and 13 other ba'athists were arrested by government forces, and the party's headquarters were raided in May.
In 2004 a new party known as Sawab, (Right Track) was formed by politicians close to former Mauritanian Head of State Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla, although the party denies any links with Haidalla. The party is considered a Ba'athist party affiliated with the Iraqi Ba'athist movement. As of 2013 the party was led by Abdessalam Ould Horma.
A disorganised, pro-Iraqi Ba'ath guerilla movement existed before the establishment of the Arab Liberation Front (ALF). The ALF was established in 1969 at a National Congress of the Iraqi-dominated Ba'ath Party to weaken the hold al-Sa'iqa, the pro-Syrian Ba'ath organisation in Palestine, had over the ba'athist movement. In contrast to al-Sa'iqa, the ALF never had access to a large recruitment pool; there were few Palestinians in Iraq, and the Palestinians living in Iraq were generally well-educated. Because of this, ALF could not – and would never – have the same degree of influence over the Palestinian movement as al-Sa'iqa did. This caused the ALF to be controlled by the pro-Iraq Ba'ath movement: weakening its effectiveness and influence, but saving it from infighting between Palestinianists and Ba'athists (a problem in al-Sa'iqa). However, the ALF's influence weakened periodically during its history due to infighting in the pro-Iraq Ba'ath movement. Because of the control the pro-Iraq Ba'ath movement had over the ALF, the ALF always held a pro-Iraqi position in the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLO). The ALF was a founding member of the Rejectionist Front in 1974, rejecting the PLO's Ten Point Program. Abdel-Wahhab Kayyali (a member of the PLO Executive Committee) froze his seat on the committee in protest, instead of following the example (resignation) of the Rejectionist Front.
While Palestinians generally believe in pan-Arabism, Arab nationalism and socialism (principles of the ALF), they have generally opted for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The United States-led invasion of Iraq toppled the Iraqi-dominated Ba'ath Party, headquartered in Baghdad. This weakened the movement and, since the Iraqi military coordinated much of the ALF's activities, the ALF has also been considerably weakened.
The ALF's first leader was Zaid Haydar, from the Jordanian Ba'ath branch; other leaders include Munif al-Razzaz, Abd al-Rahim Ahmad and Mahmud Isma'il. Most recently, it was led by Rakad Salem and headquartered in Ramallah, West Bank. Israeli Defence Forces arrested Salem in October 2002. Shahir Abu Shahut, former leader of the Jordanian Ba'ath branch, led the Ba'ath branch in Palestine from 1970 to 1975 from Baghdad.
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Country of Sudan (Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي - وطن في السودان Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-Arabi Al-Ishtiraki - Watan fi Al-Sudan) is the regional branch of the Ba'ath Party in Sudan. As of 1989, its leader is Kamal Bolad. In 2002 a group led by Mohamad Ali Jadein broke away from the branch and established the independent Sudanese Ba'ath Party, which has no affiliation with either the pro-Iraq Ba'ath movement or the pro-Syrian Ba'ath movement. After collaborating with the Arab nationalist Sudanese government for years, the Ba'ath Party broke off relations and became an opposition party in 1990; this would have disturbed Iraq if Sudan had not supported it during the 1991 Gulf crisis.
|Secretary General||Omar Othman Belhadj|
|Deputy Secretary General||Boujemâa Dendani|
|National affiliation||Popular Front|
The first Ba'athist branch in Tunisia, then under the unified Ba'ath Party, was established in 1955; however, the Ba'ath Party was outlawed under Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Following the Tunisian Revolution, the Tunisian Ba'ath Movement (Arabic: حركة البعث التونسي Haraket Al-Ba'ath Al-Tounisi; French: Mouvement Baath tunisien) was established at its First Congress on 3–5 June 2011 and legally registered on 22 January 2011. However, Ba'athists have been active in underground politics since the 1950s. The Ba'ath Movement celebrated the fifth anniversary of the death of Saddam Hussein. Omar Othman Belhadj, Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Ba'ath Movement, said “Hussein’s execution was symbolic, they did not kill a person but rather the ideas he represented and fought for. Hussein was killed for being against colonization and for being a defender of Arab unity and independence of Arab countries.” He further noted that he did not support killing Muammar Gaddafi, saying that Gaddafi had a right to a fair trial like anyone else.
Omar once told a journalist, "the Syrian regime has turned against the Ba'ath and is no longer Ba'athist one". The party does not support Syria's expulsion from the Arab League, and asserts that foreign nations should play a neutral role in the Syrian civil war. On 4 February 2012, the Executive Committee of the Ba'ath Movement released a communiqué condemning the provisional Tunisian government's expulsion of the Syrian ambassador. The Ba'ath Movement expressed solidarity with the Syrian protesters, and condemned the shooting of unarmed demonstrators. The committee predicted that the Syrian ambassador's expulsion would militarise the conflict, mobilising Arab opinion against the regime and leading to military intervention. After the revolution Arab Democratic Vanguard Party emerged as second "Iraqi" Baathist Party in Tunisia. Its membership is younger and its political position more at the left of the historically Baath Movement. It's headed by Kheireddine Souabni and Ahmed Seddik. The Ba'ath Movement is a members of the Popular Front, a communist-dominated front with strong popular backing.
|RC Secretary||Qassam Salam Said|
|Headquarters||Street 8A (off Zubairy Street), Sana'a|
The National Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Yemen Region (Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي القومي - قطر اليمن Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-Arabi Al-Ishtiraki Al-Qawmi – Qutr Al-Yaman) is led by Qassem Salam Said as Secretary of the Regional Command, while Abdulwahid Hawash serves as Deputy Secretary. It publishes the newspaper Al-Ehyaa Al-'Arabi (Arabic: لإحياء العربي, English: Arabic Renaissance).
The party carried out clandestine political activity until 1990, and was registered as the National Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party on 10 February 1997. It had initially sought to register as the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party in 1995, but that name was given by the authorities to another Ba'athist group. Politically, the party is allied with the ruling General People's Congress; during the 2011 Arab Spring, this position caused an internal split. In March 2011, it was reported that the Hodeidah branch of the party had sided with the uprising after violent attacks on protestors in the city.
The party contested the 1993 parliamentary election in alliance with the other Ba'athist group, winning seven seats. After the election, however, relations between the two Ba'athist groups soured and they contested further elections separately. The party contested the 1997 parliamentary election (failing to win any seats), and called for a boycott of the 1999 presidential election. Said, the branch leader, was sued by the Ministry of Information in February 2000 over an article criticising Saudi Arabia. In the 2003 parliamentary elections, the party obtained 23,745 votes (0.4 percent of the national vote) and again failed to re-enter parliament; however, it won two district-council seats in the 2006 local council elections.
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