December 02, 2021
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    Syria's Presidential Election underway

    June 03, 2014

    Syria is holding a presidential election in government-held areas, amid heightened security.

    President Bashar al-Assad is widely expected to win a third seven-year term in office.  However, critics of the Syrian government have denounced the election as a farce.

     

    Syria is three years into a civil war in which tens of thousands of people have died and millions more have been displaced.

     

    Analysts say Syrian officials have gone to great lengths to present the vote as a way to resolve the crisis.

     

    This is the first time in decades that more than one name - just a member of the Assad family - has appeared on the ballot paper.

     

    Assad faces two virtually unknown competitors - Maher al-Hajjad and Hassan al-Nuri.

     

    Nuri, who studied in the US and speaks English, told AFP news agency he expected to come second after Assad.

     

    Both he and Hajjar have only lightly criticised Assad's rule, for fear of being linked to an opposition that has been branded "terrorist" by the regime. The two men are, instead, focusing on corruption and economic policy.

     

    More than 15 million Syrians will be able to cast their vote in 11,000 ballot boxes distributed in more than 9,000 offices, which will be open from 7am to 7pm local time.(KH/SI)

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