Middle East

Speaker invites ‘friends’ to observe presidential polls

BEIRUT: Syria’s Parliament speaker has invited his opposite numbers in “friendly” states to send representatives to observe next month’s presidential election, the first multiple-candidate poll of the Baath Party era. 

State news agency SANA Monday quoted Jihad Lahham as saying that “a number of Arab and foreign states and institutions have been unable to mask their anger that Syria’s presidential election will be held on time; they are flagrantly trying to intervene.” 

President Bashar Assad is facing two contenders, former Minister Abdullah Nouri and MP Maher Hajjar, in the June 3 election. 

The invitations were sent to legislative officials in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), in addition to Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba and Armenia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 06, 2014, on page 8.




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