Middle East

Syria says expats banned from voting at UAE missions

TOPSHOTS Young Syrian women walk past a huge billboard bearing a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the slogan "Yes for Assad... Yes for a secure Syria" on May 27, 2014 in the capital Damascus, ahead of next week's presidential elections. Assad, 48, who believes he has saved his regime from a brutal three-year insurgency, despite international isolation and calls for his departure, is expected to clinch re-election effortlessly in the June 3 vote which has been dismissed as a "

DAMASCUS: Syria said Tuesday the United Arab Emirates has banned its expats from voting in the country's June 3 presidential election, after similar moves by France, Germany and Belgium.

On the eve of the election to be held abroad on Wednesday, "the UAE has joined the countries plotting against Syria by deciding to prohibit the holding of elections on its territory," said the Syrian foreign ministry.

In its statement, the ministry said more than 30,000 eligible Syrian voters in the Gulf state had registered on electoral lists.

The UAE was one of Syria's "enemies," it said, adding that all of the countries that had barred Syrian expats from taking part in the election were "concerned about the result" of the vote.

Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, said more than 200,000 people had registered at 39 Syrian embassies abroad.

It said the figure was "relatively acceptable, if we take into account the fact that France, Germany and Belgium have banned Syrians" from voting on their territory.





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