President Bashar al-Assad, appears set to win a third term in Syria. June 3 has been set as a date for elections though he is yet to confirm if he will stand. The announcement comes just days after state media reported Assad declaring his forces are winning the country’s civil war.
The speaker of parliament announced the election on Monday which under the country’s constitution is due by July.
“Today within the walls of this grand Parliament I declare open registration for candidates for the presidential election in accordance with the new constitution,” announced Mohammed Jihad Lahham.
The country’s state media has been broadcasting images of the president visiting Maaloula. It’s reported the Christian hamlet has recently been recaptured by government forces and is seen as a symbolic prize in the government’s bid to be viewed as a protector of religious minorities.
International powers that back Assad’s opponents have described plans to hold the election as a “parody of democracy”.