Only two candidates deemed eligible to run against Assad in Syria's presidential elections
Many areas that are currently under rebel control will not participate in Syria's so-called presidential election set for June (File Archive/AFP)
Click here to add Bashar Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar Assad,
Click here to add Bashar Hafez Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar Hafez Assad,
Click here to add Hassan Abdullah Al Nuri as an alert
Disable alert for Hassan Abdullah Al Nuri,
Click here to add Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar as an alert
Disable alert for Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar,
Click here to add Majed Khadra as an alert
Disable alert for Majed Khadra,
Click here to add Qadri Jamil as an alert
Disable alert for Qadri Jamil,
Click here to add UN Court as an alert
Disable alert for UN Court
President Bashar Assad is to face two challengers in Syria’s June 3 presidential election, the constitutional court said Sunday.
“The supreme constitutional court announces ... the acceptance of candidacy bids registered by ... Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan Abdullah Al Nuri and Bashar Hafez Assad,” a court official said.
Twenty-three candidates had initially registered to run against Assad in the election, which he is assured of winning. Most did not meet election criteria to run for office in a vote that has been mocked by the opposition and the West as a “farce.”
Both Hajjar and Nuri are largely unknown to the public, although there was rampant speculation last week that the two – an MP and an ex-minister, respectively – would receive the stamp of approval by the authorities to run against Assad.
Hajjar is seen as close to ex-deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil, who was dismissed last year for failing to abide by the prerogatives set out for him.
Candidates whose bids were rejected have until May 7 to appeal the court’s decision, said Majed Khadra of the constitutional court, whose statement was carried by state television.
While the election is the country’s first multicandidate vote, the rules effectively rule out any opponents to Assad’s regime from running.
Among them is the stipulation that anyone who has lived outside Syria in the past decade is excluded, effectively barring most prominent opposition figures, who live in exile.
At the same time, the vote will only be held in areas under government control.
The election is being held amid a brutal civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people since March 2011 and made millions homeless.
- How Syria´s civil war has made Assad the only viable presidential candidate
- Presidential Candidates’ Eligibility to Hold Office in Question
- Assad set to speak on 'elections' and 'constitution' while Syria bloodshed continues
- Number of presidential hopefuls in Syria's election up to 11
- Four more candidates to run in Syria's presidential election