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Syrian Regime To Hold Elections Amid Chaos


People bury a person activists said was killed by a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Kafarzita, in northern Hama countryside, April 23, 2014.

The Syrian parliament has called a presidential election for June 3. The announcement comes as the regime continues barrel bombing Aleppo, brutalizing Homs, and slaughtering the Syrian people.

The Syrian parliament has called a presidential election for June 3. The announcement comes as the regime continues barrel bombing Aleppo, brutalizing Homs, and slaughtering the Syrian people.

Democratic elections offer an opportunity for the people in a free society to be consulted and to play an important role in choosing their leaders. However, such a process is inconceivable today in Syria, where the regime has crushed political dissent and nearly half the population is displaced by war, including millions scattered beyond Syria’s borders in refugee camps and neighboring host communities.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki called the planned election “a parody of democracy,” lacking all credibility. She noted that under Bashar al- Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad before him, Syria “has never held a credible, free and fair election,” and that the regime has taken legal and administrative steps to ensure that the upcoming vote will not be fair, including precluding anyone from running for office who has not been in the country for the last ten years. Calling for elections rings especially hollow now, as the regime continues to massacre the very electorate it purports to represent.

“The regime’s violent suppression of the Syrian people’s calls for freedom and dignity is what sparked this brutal conflict,” Ms. Psaki said. “Staging elections under current conditions, including the effective disenfranchisement of millions of Syrians neither addresses the aspirations of the Syrian people nor moves the country any closer to a negotiated political solution."
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