Syrian presidential election campaigning to kick off Sunday
Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court says the three approved candidates, including incumbent President Bashar al-Assad, will begin their campaigning for the upcoming presidential election on Sunday.
In a Saturday news conference, the top court’s spokesman Majid Khadra said the three candidates who have been confirmed to run for presidency are to start their election campaign on May 11, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.
On May 4, the Syrian court said Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan Abdallah al-Nuri and Bashar Hafez al-Assad were qualified to run for president of Syria.
President Assad is seeking a third term in office. He will face Hajjar, who is a lawmaker from Aleppo, as well as Nuri, a lawmaker from Damascus.
Under the Syrian law, each candidate needs to secure the support of 35 lawmakers in the 254-member parliament as each MP is allowed to back one candidate.
Syria’s presidential election will start on June 3. The vote will be held in the government-controlled parts of the crisis-hit country. Syrians living abroad are also set to vote on May 28.
Damascus has insisted that it would hold the vote despite the foreign-backed militancy that has plagued the Arab country for more than three years.
Last month, Syria dismissed Western and opposition accusations regarding the presidential election, saying that it is planning to hold a free and transparent vote.
Syria has witnessed a deadly turmoil since March 2011. Reports say over 150,000 people have so far been killed and millions of others displaced because of the foreign-backed violence.