Voting for the presidential election began this evening in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad is expected to win the election.
According to Syria’s state news agency SANA, Dr Bashar al-Assad and his wife cast their ballots in the Duma, while the United States and Europe have condemned the election process.
This is the second presidential election since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011. The election is aimed at giving Bashar al-Assad a fourth term as president and giving him another seven years to rule.
The Syrian war and the civil war destroyed the country’s infrastructure and economy. During this period, more than 3.88 lakh people lost their lives and more than half of the population became homeless and living as refugees at home and abroad. Western powers have expressed serious concerns about the transparency of the election. Opponents of Bashar al-Assad have called the election “homely.”
Election results are expected to be released within 48 hours of the end of polling.
The foreign ministers of the United States, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have issued a joint statement condemning the Syrian presidential election. He said that holding presidential elections outside the ambit of UN Resolution 2254 was reprehensible. The statement stressed that free and fair elections should be held under the auspices of the United Nations.
The statement said the election was rigged and was not a step towards a political settlement.
It should be noted that there are two candidates in the presidential election against 55-year-old Bashar al-Assad. They are former Minister of State Abdullah Salom Abdullah and Advocate Mahmood Marri.
Interior Minister Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun said on Tuesday that the number of people exercising their right to vote in Syria and abroad was more than 18 million.
Bashar al-Assad did not give a press interview during the election campaign.