BEIRUT

Middle East

Syria to hold presidential election June 3

In this photo taken on Sunday, April 20, 2014, and released on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, checks a damaged church during his visit to the Christian village of Maaloula, near Damascus, Syria. Assad visited on Sunday a historic Christian village his forces recently captured from rebels, state media said, as the country's Greek Orthodox Patriarch vowed that Christians in the war-ravaged country "will not submit and yield" to extremists

BEIRUT: Syria will hold a presidential election on June 3, state media reported on Monday, setting the date for a vote likely to give President Bashar al-Assad a third term.

"The 3rd of June is the date for the election," Syrian state television said, quoting the parliament speaker.

Assad is battling a three-year-old rebellion against his rule. International powers who back his opponents have described plans to hold the election as a "parody of democracy".

The announcement followed a SANA report that a pair of mortar shells hit near the parliament building in central Damascus, killing five people.

 

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