One day after France signalled that he was no longer welcome, former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam has announced he is forming a government-in-exile.
The news contradicts his insistence that his words against Bashar were not a bid to seize the Syrian leadership.
The man who was one of Hafez’s closest aides for 30 years expressed his confidence that Bashar would not see out the year as President.
When Hafez died in 2000 there was said to be a behind-the-scenes power struggle. Old hands like Khaddam, Foreign Minister Farouq Ash-Sharaa and boss of Lebanon Rustom Ghazleh were said to be angry that the inexperienced Bashar was being drafted in. They felt the Presidency should go to one of them.
The front runner? Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam.