The Syrian campaign closed on Sunday in the middle of the civil war that ravaged the country for over three years. Bashar al-Assad, who chairs the Republic since his father Hafez died fourteen years ago, is presented for the first time an election with alternative candidates. He had undergone prior two referendums, in 2000 and in 2007 was corroborated in office with approval rate almost 100 %. On Tuesday, Syrian voting will find three names on the ballot: incumbent President Assad, parliamentarian and former Minister Hasan Nuri and the Communist parliamentary Maher Hajar.
Nobody, not even the alternative candidates, doubt that the current president is almost as wide as will point victory earlier. The civil war has destroyed much of Syria and over 6.5 million people have left home within the country. They have already passed the 160,000 deaths in the conflict. The vast majority were civilians.
A third of the population is displaced or refugees abroad, while the opposition is split between exile and trenches. From downtown Damascus gunfire every moment the regular army against rebel strongholds remain in the suburbs of the capital are heard. With this scenario and to ensure the ideological proximity detection among the three candidates, the opposition has called for a boycott of the elections, the Council of the European Union in April called “travesty of democracy.”
The nearly three million Syrians who have left the country to escape the fighting were asked to vote last week.
If background explosions that accompany everyday life in downtown Damascus are obviated, a visitor might think the country is calm. On Tuesday, from 7:00 to 19:00 open polling. But only in areas controlled by Syrian troops loyal to Assad. Roughly two -fifths of the country including the capital, the coastal areas of Latakia, and since a few weeks ago, the crucial city of Homs, in central Syria.
The surrender of Homs marked a significant victory for Assad, who in recent months has expressed his conviction that war is working out in his favor. The toughest battles are now fought north, near Aleppo, an old metropolis shaken by the bombing and the fighting. Sunday news reached the capital of dozens killed by explosions in the area loyal to Assad. Insurgents have announced to indiscriminately punish the population participating in the elections.