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Syria: regime announces municipal elections

UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan meets Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus on 9 November 2021 [Emirates News Agency WAM]
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus on 9 November 2021 [Emirates News Agency WAM]

The regime of Bashar Al-Assad is planning to hold municipal elections on 18 September, Syria's state news agency SANA reported on Wednesday. The elections will be held even though half of the Syrian people have either become internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees. Moreover, several Syrian governorates or parts thereof are not under regime control.

The date for the elections was set in a decree issued by the regime. Voters will be asked to elect members of the country's local councils.

Syria has fourteen provinces. According to Anadolu, some of the governorates are still controlled by armed opposition groups. Parts of Idlib, Raqqa, Hasakah and the area around Aleppo are controlled by anti-regime groups, while the YPG/PKK terrorist group controls Deir El-Zour and most of Raqqa and Hassakeh provinces along with parts of Aleppo.

The country has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. UN figures, said Anadolu, show that more than eight million Syrians are now either IDPs or refugees.

The Assad regime held a presidential election in May last year. Assad, it was reported, won "95.1 per cent" of the votes. Syria is known for holding fake elections where the real results of the votes cast are ignored and MPs and mayors are placed in their positions by the regime in Damascus.

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