A parliamentary election is underway in Syria despite the continuing violence, which the main oppositions parties have described as a sham.
The vote will decide who will win one of 250 available seats in parliament. Nine political parties have been created under new rules that permit newcomers to challenge the ruling Ba’ath party of President Bashar al Assad.
In the Syrian capital Damascus, these voters were hopeful the election would bring change:
“It’s important for everyone to be responsible after all the problems that the country has been through. It is our duty and our right to vote and let our voices be heard,” said local resident Intisar Yassari.
“Everybody should vote in Syria so we can be listened to. We should vote for the people whom we want to be in parliament so they can deliver our demands to the government,” added Samer Al-Sameh.
The election takes place despite a boycott by most Syrian opposition parties, many of whom are in exile overseas and as UN observers continue to monitor a fragile ceasefire.
Fresh violence continued on Monday in the city of Hama and the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, according to activist reports.