Presidents Of Syria Since 1961

Bashar al-Assad, the incumbent president of Syria since 2000. Editorial credit: Valentina Petrov /
Bashar al-Assad, the incumbent president of Syria since 2000. Editorial credit: Valentina Petrov /

Syria is a unitary semi-presidential dominant party republic located in western Asia. Its capital is Damascus, which is also the largest city in the country. The president of Syria is the head of state and government. The 2012 referendum transformed the country from a presidential state into a semi-presidential state. In this article, we will discuss the roles of the president and some of the people who held the position.

Presidents Of Syria Since 1961

Nazim al-Kudsi

Al-Kudsi was born in 1906 and later died in 1963. He undertook most of his studies outside Syria and returned to his home country after obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Geneva. He joined politics in 1935, where he joined an anti-French independence movement called ALEPPO. He won a parliamentary seat in 1936 and was later appointed as the ambassador to the US. He ran again for the parliamentary seat from 1947 and won. He won in the next three elections, making him serve as an MP for 20 consecutive years. He ran for the post of presidency in 1961 and won. He restored healthy relationships with Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the west as the president. However, during his reign, he had sour relationships with Iraq and Egypt. He restored the economy by getting funds from the World Bank. However, some army officers thought that he was sidelining them in political matters and they attempted a coup in 1962. Another coup was planned in 1963 which led him to flee into exile in Jordan where he lived until his death.

Lu’ay Al-Atassi

Attasi was born in 1926 in Homs city. He joined Homs military academy and participated in the Arab-Israeli war in 1948 in Palestine. He was appointed to various embassies as the military attaché including in Egypt and the US. After the coup that toppled the reign of Al-Kudsi, Al-Atassi was appointed the interim government by the military officers. He was later made the president by the National Council for the Revolutionary Command. He later resigned as the president in June 1963 and abstained from any further political activity.

Amin al-Hafiz

Al-hafiz was born in Aleppo City in 1921, where he joined the military in his mid-20s and began his political life in 1958. He was part of the delegation that went to meet the Egyptian president where the two countries merged. After the cop and subsequent resignation of Al-Attassi, Al-Hafiz became the president. Saed Jadad toppled his government. He was jailed in Damascus but was later released and lived in Lebanon.

Nurredin Al-Atassi

Al-Atassi was born in 1929 and became a professional doctor. He became the president in 1966 but had no powers as the real power was vested to the deputy general secretary. In 1970, the defense minister Hafez al-Hasad led a coup that toppled the government. Al-Atassi was arrested and jailed in Damascus where he served a 22-year jail term.

Bashar al-Assad

Bashar took over power in 2000, and he is a son to Hafez Al-said who held the position from 1971 to 2000. He is a trained doctor having obtained his medical degree from Damascus University. He also joined the military and led the Syrian occupation of Lebanon in 1998. He was elected the president in 2000 and subsequently in 2007 with no opposing candidate. The first contested election was held in 2014 where Assad retained the post. He was implicated in the UN list of 20 sample war crimes indictments handed to the international criminal court.

Roles, duties, and responsibilities of the president of Syria

The Syrian president is the head of state and has vast powers. His or her powers may be delegated to his or her vice presidents and members of the council of ministers. The president is also vested with the powers to hire and fire the prime minister, ministers and also top military officers.

Presidents Of Syria Since 1961

Presidents of the Syrian Arab RepublicTerm in Office
Nazim al-Kudsi
Lu'ay al-Atassi
Amin al-Hafiz
Nureddin al-Atassi
Hafez al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad (Incumbent)2000-Present

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