http://www.agi.it/english-version/w...t_opens_in_syria_w_absolute_majority_to_assad (AGI) Damascus - A new Parliament was inaugurated in Syria with President Bashar el Assad's Baath Party holding the absolute majority. The Parliament was elected in the vote held at the beginning of the month. On taking their oath, the MPs swore to "protect the interests of the population and democracy" in front of the cameras of the public service TV that gave a live broadcast of the session presided by the eldest Member of Parliament, Abdul Aziz Turad al Mulham. The newly elected MPs then proceeded to elect their new Speaker, his Deputy and Secretaries. "This crowns the democratic process and transparency in the light of the Constitution", said Mulham while calling on the MPs to "work hard to meet the aspirations of the people". The Baath Party National Progressive Front coalition occupies 183 seats out of 250. 58-year old Mohamed Yihad al Laham was elected Speaker of the Parliament with 225 votes against only 8 obtained by his rival, the independent candidate Mayid Dandan. .