Four more candidates submit bid for presidency in Syria's alleged elections
It is not yet clear how the government plans to coordinate the election nationwide under the present civil war conditions that have killed at least 150,000 and forced at least half of the country's population to flee their homes (Fadi Al Halabi/AFP)
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Agence France Presse reported Sunday that four more candidates are now running in Syria's June 3 presidential election against incumbent leader President Bashar Al Assad.
Parliament speaker Mohammad Al Lahham announced Sunday that Sawsan Haddad, Samir Maala, Mohammed Firas Rajjuh and Abdel Salam Salameh will join Hassan Abdullah Al Nuri and Maher Al Hajjar as presidential hopefuls.
There are now six candidates, including one woman (Haddad), who is running for the leadership position, but it is highly expected that Assad will win another term though he has not yet announced his candidacy.
Syria's parliament announced the proposed elections last week and say they will carry on with the vote despite the ongoing civil war that is ravaging the country.
The opposition in exile, along with many international organizations including the U.N. who are openly critical of the elections, described the polls as "a parody of democracy."
The proposed election will be Syria's first multi-candidate election-at least on paper, after Damascus ended its referendum election system in 2012. However, many expect the election to result in Assad's favor.
It is not yet clear how the government plans to coordinate the election nationwide since many areas throughout the country remain inaccessible or under rebel control.