BEIRUT: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might consider running for re-election in 2014, he told a television interviewer on Monday, saying he saw nothing that would get in the way of doing so.
"Personally, I don't see any obstacles to being nominated to run in the next presidential elections," he said on Syria's Al Mayadeen TV when asked whether he thought it was suitable to hold the election in 2014.
Assad inherited power from his father in 2000 and was confirmed in an election in which he ran unopposed. He was re-elected in 2007. The Assad family has ruled Syria, where parliament is considered a rubber stamp, for more than 40 years.
But the president is now fighting a civil war after street protests calling for more rights in 2011 were met with force and then developed into a full-scale rebellion. More than 100,000 have been killed and millions displaced.
Assad has defied calls from his Syrian opponents and many foreign governments to stand down. He told the interviewer the will of the Syrian people would influence his decision on whether to run in 2014.
"As for people's desire, it is too soon to talk about it. We can only discuss it when the election date is announced," he said.