Syrian refugees decry ‘illegitimate’ elections by Assad
Syrian regime to hold presidential elections on May 26
Displaced Syrian civilians have decried a decision by the Bashar al-Assad regime to hold presidential elections in the war-ravaged country next month as “illegitimate”.
On Sunday, Syria’s People's Assembly (parliament) set May 26 as a date for holding presidential elections. According to the official news agency SANA, candidacy applications can be submitted to the Supreme Constitutional Court from April 19 to 28.
“There is no legitimacy for elections carried out by a regime that killed its people, displaced millions of them, and ruined the country's infrastructure," Abdullah Mohsen, from the city of Saraqib in the northwestern province of Idlib, told Anadolu Agency.
Mohsen pointed out that the vote will not have any credibility because “the number of civilians in the regime-held areas is far less compared to those internally displaced”.
"My only wish is to return to my home after the departure of the regime, Iran, and Russia from my country,” Mohsen said.
Russia supports the Syrian regime forces and militia groups affiliated with Iran against Syrian opposition fighters.
Omar Shaban, another displaced civilian from Saraqib, told Anadolu Agency that it was unacceptable that “a regime that killed its people and displaced millions would conduct elections”.
“Bashar al-Assad is the enemy of the people and a murderer,” Shaban said.
For his part, Ismail Bitar, a displaced civilian from Homs province, said “a regime that killed his parents and arrested his brother cannot have the legitimacy to hold elections.”
“The regime is not even able to provide the basic needs of civilians living in areas under its control and is exercising oppression against them,” Bitar said.
As for Firas Alaiwi, Assad is a “criminal who killed children with chemical weapons and forced his people to the camps”, bombing and oppressing everyone “to stay in power."
Muhammad Obeid, another displaced person from the town of Talmans south of Idlib, disputed the legitimacy of elections held by “a president who brought Russians, Iranians, and terrorists from all parts of the world to kill his people”.
Obeid called on Syrians living in regime-controlled areas not to participate in polls organized by “a regime that cannot satisfy their very basic needs”.
Yamen Rahim from Idlib termed Assad as “an enemy of humanity”, vowing to “get rid of this system by the will of God and then the will of the people”.
Assad has succeeded in all the elections he has contested since he assumed power (in 2000) as heir to his father, Hafez al-Assad, with rates exceeding 88 percent.
The decision to hold the elections came despite the ongoing military conflict in the country, lack of a political solution in sight, the failure of negotiations between the opposition and the regime, and the displacement of more than 10 million Syrians either as refugees or as internally displaced persons (IDPs). Moreover, about 40% of the country is not under the control of the regime.
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in AnakaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.