Boycott Syria election, say opposition activists

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Boycott Syria election, say opposition activists

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A parliamentary election was held in Syria on Monday to decide who will win one of 250 seats in parliament.

Nine political parties have been created under new rules that permit newcomers to challenge the ruling Ba’ath party led by President Bashar al-Assad. More than 7,000 candidates registered.

Amid the continuing violence from a 14-month old uprising, Syrian opposition groups called on voters to boycott the election. In several rebel-held areas, activists said there was little evidence of a vote take place.

One commentator said a clue to the lack of authenticity with voters is that there’s been virtually no discussion of candidates’ policies or political leanings.

The election takes place despite many respected
opposition candidates being in exile overseas.

More than 70 UN observers are in Syria to monitor a fragile UN-backed ceasefire that was declared on April 12.