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Syria Announces Presidential Elections
Syrian Presdient Bashar Assad during a November 2017 visit to Russia. (Office of the President of Russia via Wikimedia Commons)

Syria Announces Presidential Elections

Syria’s parliamentary speaker on Sunday announced that the battered nation’s presidential elections will be held next month, in what yet again will be hardly a nail-biter. President Bashar Assad, who has ruled the land since his father’s death in 2000 and has for the past decade waged a bloody crackdown against dissidents and rebels, is expected to repeat his “victory” of 2014 and handily beat out any faux-challengers. Approximately half a million Syrians have died in the country’s long-running civil war, while close to 13 million have either been displaced or fled the country to become refugees. In order to participate in the May 26 elections, candidates must have lived continuously in Syria for at least ten years, and must also present the backing of at least 35 members of parliament, in which Assad’s Baath party won a large majority in last year’s hardly free and fair parliamentary elections.

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