As the SNC bickers and falters, Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, long a pariah body under Assad and his father Hafez, has been quietly building support. It claims to have the ear of no more than 25% of the population, after a year of low-key work, primarily through its three seats on the SNC’s executive committee.
The group’s slow-burn style is replicating the work of its counterpart in Egypt, which won democratic parliamentary and presidential elections held this year after the 2011 fall of the veteran dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
A prominent role in Syria for the conservative Islamic group, with links to the Sunni Arab powerhouses, is one possible outcome in the wake of the regime. “We are ready for the post-Assad era, we have plans for the economy, the courts, politics,” the Brotherhood’s spokesman, Muheim al-Droubi, told the wire service Agence France-Presse. However, he added: “My opinion is that in free elections the Muslim Brothers wouldn’t have more than 25% of the votes.”