Elections in Syria: Western countries accuse voting process of illegality

The United States, Germany and other European countries have denounced Syria’s “rigged elections” as a trick by current President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy issued a statement calling the coming Syrian elections on Wednesday “neither free nor fair.”

Western countries say the elections were rigged by current President Bashar al-Assad and are almost certain to win another term.

Ministers said elections should be subject to UN oversight “to meet the highest international standards of transparency and accountability.”

All Syrians should be able to participate in the voting process, including Syrian refugees living abroad, the statement said.

Currently, only foreign Syrians with valid Syrian passports and official border crossing stamps can vote a rule that excludes many who have fled Syrians.

“Without these factors, this rigged election represents no progress towards a political agreement,” the statement said, noting; “We call on the international community to firmly reject the Assad regime’s efforts to restore legitimacy without ending human rights abuses and to participate significantly in the political process driven by the United Nations to end the conflict”.

What is the current political situation in Syria?

Syria has bewildered by a bloody civil war since anti-Assad rebels seized arms against the government during pro-democracy protests during the Arab Spring. The opposition, including some jihadist groups, quickly seized parts of the country and defied government authority in cities such as Homs and Aleppo.

Over the past decade, the Syrian armed forces have managed to regain control of much of the country and repel the rebels. Opposition forces still control Idlib, a major city in northern Syria.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died and millions have fled since the 2011 uprising.

Assad, a business optometrist, assumed the presidency from his father, Hafez al-Assad, in 20 years. Mr. Assad loosened the strict economic and social controls his father had established at the beginning of his presidency.

Mr. Assad has taken a hard line against the rebels since the Arab Spring, calling them “terrorists.”

Skip to toolbar