The second presidential election in Syria will be held on May 26. Observers believe President Bashar al-Assad has the utmost chance to remain in power.
The parliament speaker reported the information about the new election measures on Sunday. On May 20, Syrians living abroad will be eligible to vote at Syrian embassies. Hammouda Sabbagh also said that prospective candidates could start the sign-up process from Monday.
Millions of Syrians who had been displaced by the country’s long-running conflict were unable to vote. Basshar Assad, who ascended to power after his father in 2000, has yet to declare his intention to run for re-election.
He was elected in 2014, three years after the ignition of anti-government protests and in the midst of the ongoing conflict. The incumbent won almost 90% of overall votes.
The outcome of the presidential election in 2014 was not in doubt, while President’s future was in haze. It was also possible for him to be vanquished and removed from office at the time. A year later, nevertheless, military operation by Russia, along with fading western engagement in war, proved in his favor.
After the election, Russia’s military operation has aided Assad in re-controlling large territories occupied by opposition rebels. The opposition has only managed to take hold of just a marginal area in the country’s northwestern region. A president can serve two seven-year terms under Syria’s 2012 constitution, while the president elected in 2014 has been excepted.
Candidates are obliged to be living in Syria for at least 10 years. The law bans exiled opposition leaders fighting to end the Assad family’s 51-year ruling system to run.
Besides, at least 35 members of the parliament, currently governed by Assad’s Baath party, must support the winning candidates. The opposition called the party’s predicted majority in Syria’s parliamentary elections last year “theatrical.”
The fresh election will be held in the midst of a pandemic and a crippling economic downturn. Damascus’ food and energy challenges are deteriorating, while petrol and bread has been a daily problem for the citizens.
Recurrent power outages have caused area companies to close, causing hike in job losses in recent months.
The Syrian pound has collapsed and the condition exacerbated by the financial crisis in neighboring countries and US sanctions.
The Syrian war which aged 10 a few weeks earlier, left at least 500,000 civilians dead and millions have been displaced as a result of political distrust inside the country and mischievous plots outside.
Syria’s civil war began when security forces crushed violent seemingly pro-democracy demonstrations, prompting opposition supporters starts arms fece-off. Fighting erupted throughout the region, including hundreds of separatist and militant forces as well as foreign powers supporting and opposing the regime.
Wide swaths of Syria have been retaken by pro-Syrian troops, and a fragile truce has been established between the two sides. Idlib is Syria’s last province under rebel rule.
The UN’s special envoy to Syria said last month that he saw a remarkable “window of opportunity” for a national truce.
He urged all parties involved in war to take a “step-by-step” approach to building consensus and reaching a negotiated settlement.
Assad’s military condition is stable now and he has dominating the major cities. The big survivor continues to rely on Russian and Iranian assistance in face of western plans to collapse him.
The peaceful local demonstrations in Syria for soft reforms has turned violent when actors, instigated and supported by some western countries, intervened. The condition went out of control when some extremist sectarian groups took grip of power and formed ISIS. Evidence divulged by western media indicated the role of United States and allies in supporting the ISIS terrorist in partisan warship in previous years.