Deadline arrives for Syrian presidential contenders to submit candidacy

Candidates in the Syrian general elections this May have until today to submit their candidacy against President Bashar al-Assad. With

Syrian presidential

Photo: SANA/ AP

Candidates in the Syrian general elections this May have until today to submit their candidacy against President Bashar al-Assad.

With Syria’s main opposition in exile and only candidates located in the country for the past decade able to run, expect the elections to guarantee another victory for Assad. Ahead of the vote, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the US and the main opposition bloc have called for a boycott. Regardless, the election results are not likely to yield any change to the political stalemate in the war-torn country, divided into three de-facto areas, only one of which is controlled by the government.

Russia, which holds veto power in the UN Security Council, has hindered a political resolution to the decade-long conflict by supporting Assad. The most recent UN-led round of talks failed when Russia blocked an agreement to jump-start a peace process, worsening the already dire humanitarian crisis. With Syria’s strategic importance diminishing for the US-led alliance, expect the international community to remain unwilling to adequately challenge Russia in Syria. Instead, both the UN and Biden administration’s Syria policy will likely continue to be driven by short-term humanitarian considerations, while failing to address the root problem, which requires a political fix.

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