Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) attends a meeting with clergymen and preachers in Damascus April 23, 2014, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters
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A businessman who studied in the United States on Thursday became the second hopeful to register for Syria's controversial June presidential election which is expected to return incumbent Bashar al-Assad to office.Would-be candidates must win the support of at least 35 of Syria's 250 MPs to stand.Of those, a full 160 are members of the Baath party, which has ruled Syria with an iron fist for nearly 50 years.Electoral rules bar anyone who has not lived in Syria continuously for the past 10 years from standing, effectively excluding most of the opposition.
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