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Syria Holds Parliamentary Elections Lacking Opposition Participation

Residents of Syria aren’t holding their breaths in suspense Sunday, as international observers are already condemning national parliamentary elections, held across the war-stricken country, as rigged and unfair. More than 2,000 candidates, the vast majority of whom are members of President Bashar Assad’s Baath party or loyal to his regime, will vie for 250 seats in more than 7,000 voting stations. As has happened in the previous two parliamentary elections since the onset of the civil war nearly a decade ago, most opposition groups will not even participate, handing the government an expected landslide victory. Millions of Syrians who were forced to flee the country during the war will not be allowed to vote. The final results of the polls, which were postponed twice due to coronavirus fears, are expected on Tuesday. The fighting in Syria, which started in 2011 amid the Arab Spring uprisings, has been drawing to a close in recent months after Assad’s army, backed by Russian and Iranian forces, managed to recapture 70% of the country back from various rebel groups.