Syria 101: 4 attributes of Assad's authoritarian regime
How have authoritarian regimes remained in control so long in the Middle East? In Syria's case, a critical factor is the concentration of power in a single family, political party, and religious sect.
What type of government does Syria have?
But because Syria's executive branch holds the power to pick and choose what political parties can participate in the political process, effectively giving the Baath Party total control over parliament, this parliamentary republic is actually considered an authoritarian government. Article 8 of the Constitution stipulates that "the Arab Socialist Baath Party leads society and the state," with at least 167 seats of the 250-member parliament guaranteed for the National Progressive Front, a coalition of 10 mostly Baathist parities. The president has power to change the Constitution at will.
Source: US State Department