National Party (Syria)
|Historical leader||Shukri al-Quwatli|
|Split from||National Bloc|
The National Party (Arabic: حزب الوطني Ḥizb Al-Waṭanī) was a Syrian political party founded in 1947, eventually dissolving in 1963. It grew out of the National Bloc, which opposed the Ottomans in Syria, and later demanded independence from the French mandate.
A new political movement with the same name, but no direct connection to the historical National Party, was established in 2005 in support of the Bashar Al-Assad regime.The party grew in popularity because of increased use of internet communication.
In 1936, leaders of the National Bloc (Hashim al-Atassi, Saadallah al-Jabiri, Lutfi al-Haffar, Jamil Mardam Bey, Shukri al-Quwatli, Nasib al-Bakri, Ibrahim Hananu, Sultan Basha al-Atrash, Faris al-Khoury, Saleh al-Ali, Faisal Najib, Honorary Sami Al Baroudi and Mohamed Alomar) sent a delegation to France demanding independence. The delegation was headed by Hashim Atassi and included Saadallah al-Jabiri, Faris al-Khoury, Jamil Mardam Bey, Ministers Odmon Humusi and Amir Naim Mustafa al-Shihabi with Antioch as General Secretary.
Two major factions emerged from the National Bloc:
- The People's Party, led by Rushdie Kikhia and Nazim al-Kudsi
- The National Democratic Party, led by Shukri al-Quwatli.
The current National Party was founded on December 30, 2005, as a result of online communication among Syrian youth. Chat rooms were a key part of this process. The new National Party's ethos is based on that of its original founder Shukri al-Quwatli.
The National Party believes that the first and most important objective for the Syrian people is to achieve freedom. Human rights have suffered in Syria as a result of dictatorial regimes. The lowest classes were particularly hurt by policies of deception, ignorance and intellectual oppression. The party believes that freedom should be sacred and unconditional; even if that freedom conflicts with the party in its provisions, the party should still work to preserve and strengthen it, because freedom is the basis of all creativity.
The party seeks justice in order for Syrian citizens to feel safer. The goal is to create a positive state of civil peace and friendship between people, in which every citizen feels that their dignity and their rights are protected.
The party wishes to achieve equality between all ethnic groups, religions and social classes. It hopes to bring an end to government oppression, including fraud and bribery, in order to create a healthy society keeping pace with other nations.
Because of the emergence of the Palestine as central between the major powers (United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union and the United States) and the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the nationalist camp became increasingly radicalized. Baathists assumed senior positions in the army, and eventually took power under Hafez al-Assad.
While the People's Party was friendly to the interests of Hashemite Jordan and Iraq, the National Party was not. Both parties were major players in Syrian politics until the 1963 Syrian coup d'état which brought the Ba'ath Party to power and drove most political opponents underground.