close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
May 4, 2021

Assad to face two ‘rivals’ in May vote

World

AFP
May 4, 2021

DAMASCUS: A Syrian former minister and a member of the Damascus-tolerated opposition will face Bashar al-Assad in this month’s presidential election, the constitutional court said on Monday.

The Assad-appointed body approved only three out of 51 applications to stand in the May 26 ballot, among them the 55-year-old president himself, widely expected to win a fourth mandate.

The court’s president said in a press conference broadcast on state TV that Abdallah Salloum Abdallah, a state minister from 2016 to 2020, had been approved to run for president. The third candidate was named as Mahmoud Marei, a member of the so-called "tolerated opposition" long described by exiled opposition leaders as an extension of the regime. All 48 other applications were ruled out for "failing to meet constitutional and legal requirements", the court president said without elaborating. They have until May 7 to appeal.

Applicants needed to garner support from at least 35 members of parliament, each of whom is only allowed to back one candidate. Exiled opposition members are de facto ruled out by an electoral law that stipulates candidates must have lived in Syria continuously for at least the past decade. The election will be the second since the start of a decade-long conflict that has killed over 388,000 people and forced more than half of Syria’s pre-war population from their homes.