Syria to hold presidential elections June 3 despite ongoing conflict
Syria's parliamentary speaker announced Monday that the country will hold presidential elections on June 3 despite the ongoing civil war, according to Agence France Presse.
During a special session of parliament, Mohammad Al Lahham told the assembly, "Elections for the president of the Syrian Arab Republic for Syrians resident in the country will be held on June 3 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm."
The vote is "widely expected" to return Syria's current president Bashar Al Assad to the leadership position for another seven-year term in office as the conflict that has left at least 150,000 people dead and millions more displaced continues nationwide.
This is the first election that will be held in Syria after the parliament ended its referendum system with the introduction of a new constitution in 2012. However, many areas under rebel control may be inaccessible in terms of setting up polls for the vote, and many opposition leaders will be excluded from potentially running for the leadership position due to clauses within the new election law.
Syrians living outside of the country will be able to vote on May 28, and candidates have until May 1 to register their election bids.