Islam News – by Khawla Aljurdi – On Wednesday May 26, 2021 Starting early at 7 a.m., Syrians headed to polling stations in Damascus and other provinces to vote in a presidential election in government-held parts of Syria.
The vote is the second presidential election since the country’s conflict began 10 years ago and has been dismissed as a sham by the opposition and Western countries.
Presidential Candidate Bashar al-Assad, is running against two candidates: Abdullah Salloum Abdullah and Mahmoud Ahmad Marei.
Bashar al-Assad and his wife cast their ballot in Douma suburb ,a former rebel stronghold recaptured by Syrian army forces in 2018.
The voters surrounded Assad at the polling station chanting: “With our blood and with our souls, we sacrifice our lives for you,Bashar “.
“We missed this joy for years because of the black terrorism that targeted Douma city” voter Hayat al-Rhaibani said to SANA.
Speaking to reporters , Assad condemned criticism Western countries of Wednesday’s presidential election has ” zero value ” As a state , we do not accept this behaviour , ” .
” Casting my vote in Douma city is an evidence of Syrian people’s unity in fighting terrorism ” Assad added.
Syrians wanted to send message to the United States, Europe and others through casting their votes that Assad is still strong and Syria still functions, even amid pockets of fighting, mostly in the north.
“These elections are aimed at the West, every vote we cast at the ballot box is a bullet direct to everyone who doubts the legitimacy of the elections and everyone who has gambled on the fall of Syria,” a voter said to Syrian Tv reporter.
Higher Judicial Committee for Presidential Elections said that there are no breaches or problems have been registered in any polling station yet , and we have not received any complaints from sub-judicial committees for elections.
In a statement to SANA, the committee indicated that the polling stations are still witnessing a large turnout by voters to cast their votes in the ballot boxes.
The committee indicated that it visited the polling stations in Damascus city ,and inspected the electoral process there.
The Higher Judicial Committee for Elections said that the ballot boxes have completely filled in Aleppo and Quneitra provinces, as new boxes were provided to these stations , adding that the electoral process is underway there.
As Syrians crowded in Damascus and other provinces and in the liberated southern countryside of Idlib, Hasaka, al Raqqa , according to Syrian mass media live broadcasting reports , no vote allowed to held in northeast Syria, which is controlled by U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters, or in the northwestern province of Idlib and in some parts of government-held in Daraa and Swaidah people rejected the election and called it as ” illegitimate “.
The political wing of the Kurdish – led administration governing north-eastern Syria , the Syrian Democratic Council , said it was ” unconcerned about the elections that would not achieve the Syrian people’s goals for their lives , rights and political presence “
Syrian’s exiled opposition called the presidential poll a theatrical farce .
” The reelection of Assad should not be seen as a sign of strength of Assad himself, but rather as a sign of strength of Russia, as well as of Russia and Iran taking advantage of the relative inaction on the part of the West to try to push the conflict towards a resolution,”. Lina Khatib, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, told DW.
The Biden administration has said it will not recognize the result of the Syrian election unless the voting is free , fair , supervised by the United Nations and represents all of Syrian society .
Foreign ministers of Western countries denounced the election in a joint statement .
Assad’s certain win in the election comes as the country is still devastated by the conflict began 10 years ago and let the country in an economic crisis with 80% of the population lives below the poverty line .