Syria plans to hold free, transparent election: Gov't

Syria plans to hold free, transparent election: Gov't
Sun Apr 27, 2014 08:42:16

The Syrian government has dismissed Western and opposition accusations over the upcoming presidential polls, insisting that Damascus is planning a free and transparent election on June 3.

"The Syrian presidency... maintains an equal distance from all candidates in order that Syrians can choose their... president freely and transparently," AFP quoted a statement as saying on Saturday.

The statement came in response to foreign-based opposition and the West who question the transparency of the vote, and stressed that the existing candidates have stepped forward in a "democratic atmosphere."

So far, an independent lawmaker and a US-educated businessman have registered their candidacy.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is yet to announce his candidacy.

His critics have urged him to leave power. However, Assad has repeatedly rejected their call, stressing that only the Syrian nation can decide the political fate of the country.

Under a new constitution adopted in 2012, those who have not lived in Syria continuously over the past 10 years cannot run for president.

Would-be candidates must win the support of at least 35 of Syria's 250 parliamentarians to stand for election campaign.

Under the Syrian constitution, the presidential election should be held up to three months before the end of Assad’s presidency. Assad’s seven-year presidential term ends in July.

The presidential election in Syria comes as the country has been gripped with deadly violence since March 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly lost their lives and millions of others have been displaced as a result of the country’s battle against foreign-backed militants.


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