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Lebanon News

Syrians in Lebanon can vote on June 3

Syrians who live in Lebanon walk on sidewalks as they head to the Syrian embassy to vote in the presidential election in Yarze, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: The Syrian Embassy in Lebanon said Thursday that Syrians who missed out on their last chance to vote for a presidential candidate would be able to cast ballots at the border on June 3.

“Whoever could not vote in these two days can do so on June 3, which is the date of the Syrian election at home, at stations set up near border crossings between Lebanon and Syria,” the National News Agency said.

The NNA added that the embassy extended the voting period in Lebanon to Thursday at midnight in light of the high turnout.

Earlier, Syrians living in Lebanon streamed to their country’s embassy for a second day to cast ballots in the presidential election.

The process was more organized than Wednesday, when tens of thousands of Syrians flooded the main thoroughfare leading to the embassy to cast their ballots, trapping thousands of motorists in their cars in and around Beirut as traffic stretched for miles, bumper to bumper.

Many of the voters carried Syrian flags and portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The streets leading to the Syrian Embassy in the Beirut suburb of Yarze witnessed less traffic, and drivers were urged to avoid roads leading to the embassy in order to prevent a repetition of Wednesday’s scene. Internal Security Forces and Lebanese Army personnel also took measures in the area.

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali said Wednesday that those who participated in the voting process that day exceeded 80,000.

However, no official figures were available regarding the total number of Syrians who had cast their ballot Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday’s traffic congestion and the support for Assad demonstrated by many voters sparked the anger of several March 14 officials in a country that is deeply divided over the civil war next door.

The March 8 coalition is supportive of Assad, while March 14 rivals back the Syrian opposition.

Some March 14 politicians urged the government to expel Syrian refugees who supported Assad, and others called for Ali to leave.

Future Movement MP Ahmad Fatfat said that 90 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon – who number over a million – did not take part in the two day-election.

“Syrians who voted for Bashar Assad are convinced that he won and that his project will not be defeated. Thus, they have to go back to Syria,” Fatfat told a local radio station.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 30, 2014, on page 3.

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Summary

The Syrian Embassy in Lebanon said Thursday that Syrians who missed out on their last chance to vote for a presidential candidate would be able to cast ballots at the border on June 3 .

Earlier, Syrians living in Lebanon streamed to their country's embassy for a second day to cast ballots in the presidential election.

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali said Wednesday that those who participated in the voting process that day exceeded 80,000 .

However, no official figures were available regarding the total number of Syrians who had cast their ballot Wednesday and Thursday.


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