Syria’s ruling Ba’ath Party and its allies have won the majority of the votes in the recent parliamentary elections in the country, official results show.
The Syrian electoral commission announced late Saturday that the National Unity coalition, comprising the ruling party and its allies, had won 200 of the 250 seats at the People’s Assembly (Majlis al-Sha’ab).
“Out of 8,834,994 eligible voters, more than five million cast their votes,” commission head Hisham al-Sha’ar was quoted as saying. The figure was equal to 57.56 percent.
About 3,500 candidates took part in the elections. A total of 7,300 polling stations were set up in government-controlled areas across the country. In the capital, Damascus, alone, there were about 1,500 polling centers in addition to 540 polling stations for people from the provinces of Dayr al-Zawr, al-Raqqah, Idlib, Aleppo, and Dara’a, where foreign-backed militants have certain parts under their control.
The vote is the second parliamentary ballot since the beginning of the war in 2011. The last parliamentarian elections were held in 2012.
Parliament members are elected for a four-year term. The foreign-backed opposition in Syria had boycotted the recent and the last elections.
Western countries and the United Nations (UN) have said they do not recognize the election results, claiming that the prevailing militancy across the country does not allow fair elections.
Presidential elections were held in Syria in June 2014 and Bashar al-Assad was sworn in for his third seven-year term in July after securing 10,319,723 votes out of the 11,634,412 turnout of the 15,845,575 Syrians eligible to take part voting.
Meanwhile, Syria’s government and foreign-backed opposition are in Geneva this week for UN-backed peace talks to put an end to the violence that had gripped the country since 2011. A truce, brokered by the US and Russia, went into effect across Syria on February 27. It does not apply to terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Qaeda’s Syria branch al-Nusra Front, however.
The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria has left over 470,000 people dead since its inception in March 2011, according to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research. A foreign-based monitoring group, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says, however, that 270,000 have been killed in the conflict.
Syrian forces have managed to liberate many militant-held areas over the past few months.