Nytt

Bashar al-Assad holdt en ny tale lørdag der han lovte å oppheve unntakstilstanden om en uke. Han har en uke til å vise om han mener alvor. Denne gang må han ikke bare levere. Han må overlevere.

Praksis hittil har vært vage løfter og bare nye sminke på regimet. Denne gang ligger folks forventninger så skyhøyt over hva Assad står for, at han skal få store problemer med å levere. Han kan ikke bløffe lenger.

BBCs Jim Muir:

But Mr Assad came up with a tangible promise to meet one of their most strident demands – the lifting of the hated emergency laws which have been in place since 1963 and under which security agents have detained and tortured people with impunity.

He said new legislation would be put through at the latest next week, allowing the emergency laws to be lifted.

Men vil unntakslovene bli erstattet av vidtgående antiterror-lover? Da er man like langt. Det har vært regimets metode: man lover med den ene hånden og tar med den andre.

Men denne gangen var Assad mer konkret og løftene var omfattende.

* a law that would dilute the monopoly of his ruling Baath party
* a new, modern press and media law
* a law which would regulate demonstrations, whereby protesters would be protected by police but so would public and private property

I tillegg snakket Assad om tillit mellom ledelse og folk, og om ansvar og åpenhet. Det er å legge listen høyt.

There should be a broad process of consultation and participation on these issues, the president said.

He also promised action to meet people’s economic needs and stimulate investment and job creation.

‘Corrosive corruption’
But the important thing, he stressed, was for transparency, dialogue and communication between the government and the public, so that even if it wasn’t possible to meet all their needs, they would understand why.

He talked at length also about the corrosive effect of corruption at all levels.

It should be combated not just with vague declarations, he said, but by putting in place mechanisms and structures, such as a register of declared interests for top officials, transparent bidding for contracts, an authority to investigate accusations and suspicious situations, and cutting down the kind of routine formalities for which petty bribery was commonplace.

Dette var en annen slags tale enn den Assad holdt 30. mars der han la skylden for uroen på utenlandske krefter.

Han omtalte nå de 200 drepte som»martyrer». Han lovte også iverksette undersøkelser for å finne de skyldige.

Dette må låte som hykleri i folks ører. De vet hvem som ga ordrene. I en politistat er det Sjefen som er sjef og han heter Assad.

Assad changes tack – but will it work?