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US denouncement of Syria election ‘out of place’: Jatras


An American foreign policy analyst says US officials’ denouncement of Syria’s presidential election is “out of place” because while Washington denounces Syria’s election, it supports Saudi Arabia which “does not have elections at all.”

On Tuesday, Syrians cast their votes in the country’s presidential election. Syrian parliamentary speaker announced on Wednesday that Bashar al-Assad won the election by a landslide. Mohammad al-Laham said Assad secured 88.7 percent of the votes cast in the election.

The United States was quick to criticize the election, with Secretary of State John Kerry calling it “meaningless” and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf calling it “a disgrace.”

However, James Jatras, a former US Senate foreign policy analyst, says the US criticism showed its hypocrisy and double standards because as Washington denounces the election in Syria, it throws its full support behind elections in Egypt and Ukraine “that are also deeply divided societies.”

“Syria is in the midst of a civil war. Would it better for Syrians not to hold an election? I don’t see that that’s the case, even though these are very difficult circumstances. And I think we can say that the election is a partial mandate. It’s a mandate from the part of a population that supports the Bashar al-Assad government. Clearly there are Syrians on the other side of the battle line who do not support him,” Jatras told Press TV in a phone interview on Wednesday.

“I don’t see how that’s any different from what happens in Egypt or Ukraine and other countries that are also deeply divided societies where the political process has to be taken on its face for whatever it’s worth and other observers can make their judgments accordingly,” he added.

Jatras also said that the US even supports countries, like Saudi Arabia, where there are no elections at all and, so, it is “out of place for US government officials to be denouncing the Syrian election in this context.”

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