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Syria to hold parliamentary elections

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Syria to hold parliamentary elections

Syrian President Bashar al Assad addresses parliament in 2016 after the last election
Photo: AFP

After several delays, Syrians will head to the polls today to vote in the country’s general elections.

Originally scheduled for April 13, the vote was pushed back due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legitimacy of the elections has already been questioned. The results of the previous 2016 vote were not recognised by the UN, and the opposition largely boycotted the elections on grounds that they were unfairly run.

President Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’ath party currently controls 200 out of 250 seats in the unicameral parliament.

Since 2016, the Assad regime has regained control of almost all rebel regions except for Idlib Governorate. Despite the country’s decreased instability and the regime’s hold on territory, it is unlikely that the elections will be fair or free, especially given the Assad regime’s established record of human rights abuses, well preceding the civil war.

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In light of Assad’s increased territorial control, expect his party to gain sweeping victories, especially since many of Assad’s opponents are outside Syria. Today’s elections will likely help Assad further consolidate power and reduce domestic opposition voices within parliament.

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