Paris — A prominent Syrian opposition leader has rejected promises by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to introduce reform, as anti-regime protests enter their fifth week in Syria.
Sarkis Sarkis, a prominent figure in the Arab Socialist Movement in Syria, and who has been exiled in Turkey for 27 years, accused the Syrian regime of lying to the people.
President al-Assad said on Saturday that the Emergency Law, in force for more than 40 years, would be abolished in the coming week. He also pledged to continue reforms in other areas.
In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Sarkis said the people have waited 11 years for the president to introduce genuine reforms, but the ruling Baath party has transformed all institutions into tools of suppression.
Asked what he believes will be the fate of al-Assad, Sarkis said the people want peaceful change, adding that Syrian protesters insist on peaceful reform and equality between all groups.
The only hope for Assad, he went on, is to establish a civil democratic state, abolish the Emergency Law and arbitrary detentions, formulate a new constitution and establish a parliamentary system.