Five men, one woman register to become president of Syria

Five men, one woman register to become president of Syria
Sun Apr 27, 2014 18:11:55

Four more Syrian politician, including one woman, have announced candidacy for country’s upcoming presidential election, due to be held on June 3.

The new hopefuls bring the total number of candidates to six, though Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has not yet announced whether he is going to run for president or not.

Syrian government which has been struggling to save the country from a massive foreign-charged insurgency for more than three years says it aims to hold a "free and transparent" vote.

The conflict in Syria has killed some 150,000 people and has forced more than nine million people to flee their homes.

On Sunday, Parliament speaker Mohammad al-Lahham said during a live broadcast that Sawsan Haddad, Samir Maala, Mohammed Firas Rajjuh and Abdel-Salam Salameh have now put their names forward to contest the post.

They join a businessman, Hassan Abdullah al-Nuri, who studied in the United States, and independent MP and former communist Maher al-Hajjar as candidates.

Haddad, the only female candidate so far, was born in 1963 and is a mechanical engineer from Latakia province in the northwest of the country.

Maala is an international law professor from Quneitra province in the south.

Rajjuh was born in Damascus in 1966 and Salameh, born in 1971, is from central Homs province.

New election rules prevent anyone who has lived outside Syria in the past decade from running; this effectively includes the foreign-backed opposition-in-exile which has been leading the extremist-marked war in the country.

Would-be presidential candidates must win the support of at least 35 of Syria's 250 MPs to do so.

The election will be Syria's first multi-candidate presidential vote, after a constitutional amendment did away with the old referendum system.


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