Damascus, 26 May
People in war-torn Syrian government-controlled areas turned out to vote for the presidential election today. President Bashar al-Assad is expected to get a fourth seven-year term. The conflict in the country started ten years ago and this is the second election for the presidency. However, the opposition parties and the West have rejected the election. Only members of Assad’s family have held this position for five decades. This time there are two other candidates for the presidential race: Abdullah Salom Abdullah and Mahmood Ahmad Mary, but the contest seems symbolic. Thousands of people left to vote in Damascus polling stations from seven in the morning. On the streets, posters and banners are seen in support of Assad. Many times the poster of another candidate is also visible. Voting will not take place in northeastern Syria as it is controlled by US-backed Kurdish fighters, nor in the northwestern province of Idlib, which is occupied by the rebels. On the other hand, people have boycotted voting in several government-controlled areas, including the southern province of Dara and Sweden.
The Biden administration has said that it will not recognize the election results in Syria until free and fair elections are held under the aegis of the United Nations and all representatives of the Syrian community. Syrians living abroad voted last week. Assad has been in power since 2000. Earlier his father Hafiz ruled for 30 years. -App