Syria’s president ready to take part in new election
A Russian legislator says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has expressed preparedness to run for another seven-year term in office in the future presidential election should the Arab nation support such a move.
“He is ready to conduct elections with the participation of all political forces who want Syria to prosper,” Russian lawmaker, Alexander Yushchenko, said following talks with Assad in Syria’s capital, Damascus, on Sunday.
Yushchenko added that the Syrian leader is ready to take part in the polls “if the people are not against it.”
“At our meeting, Mr. Assad announced his readiness to discuss changes to the Constitution of Syria, as well as hold free parliamentary elections with the participation of all political forces committed to the prosperity of the Syrian Republic,” the Russian parliamentarian pointed out.
He noted that Assad drew a parallel between the ongoing events in Ukraine, and the current situation in Syria, saying, “Although these countries are different, the architect behind what is happening today is the same. Nationalists in Ukraine and Daesh terrorists are receiving orders from one center.”
Assad secured a landslide victory in Syria’s last presidential elections on June 3, 2014. The poll was held in government-held areas, and amid high security.
Syria’s parliament speaker, Jihad al-Laham, said Assad had garnered 88.7 percent of the votes, while his two challengers, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, won 4.3 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. The supreme constitutional court put turnout at 73.42 percent.
The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the United Nations.
The world body says 12.2 million people, including more than 5.6 million children, remain in need of humanitarian assistance. The foreign-sponsored militancy has displaced 7.6 million people.