Parliamentary Elections Held in Syria
An election during the peace-talks with the UNApril 18th, 2016
On the 13th of April, as peace-talks are being held in Geneva, parliamentary elections took place in Syria. They are the 3rd elections since the riots against Bachar El-Assad in 2011. The polling stations allowed 60% of the population to vote in the zone controlled by the Syrian government. The prognostics of the Syrian journalist, Ibrahim Hamidi, about the party Baas pro-Assad winning about 2/3 of the chairs of the Assembly turned out to be right. The people supporting Assad showed their support to Assad by voting and his opponents denounced it as an illegitimate poll.
If Assad assured that the election met the requirement of the Syrian law, many Western countries made a fuss and called it a “flimsy faced” and meaningless election. On the one hand, some media agencies from the Syria and the Middle-East are very enthusiastic about the participation of the people to the election and report that the polling stations have been left open 5 more hours to enable every citizen to vote. Broadcasted on TV, Assad explained that these elections were a way of showing that terrorism might have destroyed infrastructures in the country, but not Syria's “social structure, the national identity”. On the other hand, the Western countries denounce a fake system in which the 250 newly elected deputies will not have any real influence over Syria's presidential system.
It is very interesting to note that those elections were held at the same time as peace-talks between different Syrian parties in Geneva, but was not organized nor supervised by the UN. The talks focus on different steps to transition and organize peace-making in the country to try to resolve a five years-long war. However, the one thing that the Syrian regime insists upon in the talks is the continuity of Assad's rule. For this reason, politicians say that a transitional government is a “dream” that only a coup d'etat would allow. Only the future will tell us the outcomes of the debates in Geneva and what will become of Syria.
Cultural Diplomacy News
Julie Essertel, CD News Team