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The Assad Elections Confirm the Country’s Division

The upcoming Syrian elections are a mere formality and carry little meaning for many Syrians, writes Hassan al-Aswad for Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
The Assad Elections Confirm the Country’s Division

Everyone knows that the Syrian elections are merely a formality. The constitution of 2012 stipulated that the candidate must be a permanent resident of Syria for ten years before running, and the 2014 election law stipulates that the candidate must obtain the support of 35 members of Parliament. These two conditions will blow up any chance for more than half of the Syrian population to run for elections.

Despite all of the aforementioned, Assad and his regime cling to these formalities with unparalleled brazenness. Assad is exploiting the permit granted to him by the international community, as – despite all the crimes he committed against humanity – he is still a recognized president in accordance with international laws and norms.

The Russian allies began an external and internal movement to support Assad. Russian generals began to communicate with the notables of the local communities in the regime-controlled areas, to urge them to participate in these elections. They tried this in the city of Busra al-Sham a few days ago to go out with a march in support of Assad, which was categorically rejected by the people of the city. All the people of Horan supported them.

To fully understand the scene, it is necessary to look at the autonomous regions in north eastern Syria and the areas controlled by the Syrian opposition in the northwest. These two regions are not expected to have any electoral activity at all. On the one hand, the Assad regime has no access to them, and on the other hand the Syrians residing there have categorically rejected this farce, through their active participation in the “Illegal Assad and his elections” campaign launched at the beginning of this year some political forces, led by the Syrian Council for Change.

Internationally, the US and the European Union leadership have declared that they do not recognize the results of these elections in advance. They explicitly announced that their contribution to the reconstruction process was linked to the implementation of international decisions and the start of the political transition process and the establishment of the transitional governing body.

At the level of the official opposition, the Syrian National Coalition and the Syrian Negotiating Commission have announced their position rejecting these elections. However, this is not sufficient. Assad is on the road to completing his elections, no matter what the cost of the matter. This situation requires all the forces of the revolution and the opposition to unify their rhetoric and stances to confront this important national entitlement. Holding elections means extending Assad’s rule for seven rough years ahead.

More importantly, this means confirming the current division of Syria according to the current maps of control and according to the accounts of the countries that sponsor the de facto forces.

The various political and revolutionary forces must communicate with the de facto leaders in north eastern Syria to prevent them from being drawn into narrow interests and going with the regime in its farce. We all – each in his position – do what is necessary to prevent the recognition of these elections that took place inevitably, and this is the least that we can do, otherwise we should not all be surprised after several years of dividing Syria into several failed regions ruled by poverty, terrorism and dependence on the outside.


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.

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