Lebanon News

Syrians in Lebanon eager to vote for president: envoy

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali speaks in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, April 20, 2010. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Syrians in Lebanon have been eagerly registering their names at the embassy in Beirut to vote for the next president, according to the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon.

“The Syrian nationals residing in Lebanon are heading from different Lebanese areas to the embassy to express their enthusiasm over practicing their right to vote in the election due later this month,” Ali Abdel-Karim Ali told SANA, Syria’s state-run news agency.

Ali said Syrians living abroad would be able to cast their votes on May 28 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the embassies of the countries they reside in, while those in Syria would cast their votes on June 3.

Campaigning began earlier this month for a presidential election that is expected to keep President Bashar Assad in power.

The election is being held despite an ongoing civil war in the country that shows no signs of letting up, with dozens of people dying every day.

Voting will only be possible in territory under government control, thereby excluding large swathes of the country held by rebels, and will not be open to refugees who fled through unofficial crossings.

Assad, who is competing for his third seven-year term, came to office in 2000 after the death of his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad, who had been in power since 1970.

He faces two competitors, both largely unknown, who qualified from a pool of 23 who sought to run against Assad.





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