Syria Goes To The Polls

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President ASSAD and his wife ASMA vote in Damascus
President ASSAD and his wife ASMA vote in Damascus

SYRIANS were voting in parliamentary elections yesterday, with the ceasefire holding and the Syrian government gaining more ground against terrorists in the war-hit country.

Over 7,000 polling stations were open across Syria where more than 3,500 candidates were contesting 350 seats in Syria’s parliament. Voting took place in regions such as Aleppo, which has been witnessing an unprecedented level of conflict between pro-government forces and terrorists, as well as infighting between terrorist groups.

However, the areas under the control of the Syrian government are largely calm, so voters could safely go to polling stations secured by Syrian Army and local volunteers. Even in the predominantly Christian district of Midan in Aleppo city, which is just a few hundred feet away from the front lines of the pro-government forces in their fight against terrorists, people stood in lines to cast their ballots.

The election is held under security measures being upheld by police, army, National Guard and militia, to prevent any terrorist attacks on voters. President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma cast their ballots in Damascus early yesterday and spoke to voters at the polling station.

In a statement to the media as he left the voting centre, President al-Assad said: ‘The Syrian people are engaged in a war that has been going on for five years, through which terrorism managed to shed innocent blood and destroy much infrastructure.

‘But it failed in achieving the primary goal it was assigned, which is destroying the principle structure in Syria, meaning the social structure of the national identity. This is why the terrorists’ employers and masters moved in a parallel direction under a political headline whose main goal is to undermine this social structure and undermine the national identity, which are expressed by the constitution.’

Walls across the capital Damascus were covered with campaign posters and from the top of one of the city’s tallest buildings a banner proclaimed: ‘The elections of resistance.’

‘I voted because this election will decide the country’s future. I hope that the winners will be true to the nation even before being true to the voters,’ said Yamin al-Homsi, a 37-year old who voted in Damascus.

Samer Issa, a taxi driver, said he had ‘fulfilled my national duty’ by casting his vote. ‘Now, it’s up to the winners to fulfill their promises,’ the 58-year-old added.