In the government-held parts of Syria, the presidential election is taking place. In this election, Mr. Bashar al – Assad is facing two little-known challengers, Mahmoud Ahmed Mari and Abdullah Salloum Abdullah. The play has dismissed it as a farce with the war-torn opposition of the country. While casting his ballot, Mr. Assad said this opinion of the West is getting the count as zero.
Syria is currently devastated by its conflict, which erupted after the response of Mr. Assad. He responded with deadly force towards a peaceful pro-democracy protest in 2011.
This fighting has made at least 388000 people die and caused half of the population to flee from their homes with 6 million refugees abroad.
Mr. Assad has been the president since 2000. He is the successor of his late father, Hafez, who was the ruler of Syria for more than a quarter of a century. He got re-elected for the third term 7 years after winning 88% of the votes in the poll. It took place, despite the fighting which was raging all over the country. The opposition refused to participate. From then, the war turned in favor of Mr. Assad with the Iran militias and Russian airstrikes. They helped the Syrian army to regain its power over the biggest cities.
The large parts of the country are still the rebels, jihadis, and the Kurdish forces. Hence the political solution of this conflict is hard to attain.
The government says that this election shows Syria is functioning normally with 18M eligible voters. Mr. Assad said, “Syria is not what they were trying to market – one city against the other and sect against the other, or civil war. Today, we are proving from Douma that the Syrian people are one.”
The poll is also taking place despite the participation of the government in an UN-led process for a new constitution. It intends to allow for free and fair elections under the supervision of the UN with all the Syrians.
Abdullah Salloum Abdullah is a former Socialist Union Party minister. He was in the part of the coalition that Mr. Assad’s ruling Baath party led.
Mr. Abdullah admitted that it had not been his goal to stand in this presidential election. Also, he is not running for the position against any other candidate.
Mahmoud Ahmed Mari is a candidate of a patriotic opposition both at home and abroad. He claims to represent a coalition for six officially-tolerated parties, the Syrian Democratic Front.
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