Bribes paid for a seat in one of the municipal councils or local councils of the governorates in the regime-controlled areas reached 150 million Syrian pounds per person during the recent local administration elections.
The price of bribery varies according to the required position and the importance of the region or municipality. The position of a municipality member starts from 50 million Syrian pounds, the mayor’s post with 100 million Syrian pounds, and more than 150 million pounds to enter the governorate council, according to the website al-Aseema, citing confidential sources in Damascus, on Tuesday.
The bribery payers intend to compensate for the payments by participating in a corruption system, including obtaining exceptions to building permits, pledges and tenders for paving roads, fuel allowances, maintenance and restoration, according to promises they received from officials in the system.
The promises of officials… This is how the “winner” gets his bribe back
The “winner” candidate is expected to recover his money within a few months in exchange for bribes to grant certain facilities to construction traders and other decisions related to the municipality and the governorate. In addition, he benefits from a range of other privileges during his time on the council.
Some polling stations recorded fist fights between campaign facilitators over disagreements over voter recruitment and payments to vote for specific candidates.
In the town of Babila, south of Damascus, for example, the price of a vote reached 10,000 Syrian pounds. It reached 30,000 Syrian pounds in the town of Zakia west of Damascus, with transportation provided to the voter.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.