Assad to offer presidential election as Homs death toll rises
On Wednesday, reports in websites and newspapers said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to deliver a new speech on the situation in the country. It will be his fourth public address since the protests against his regime started in mid-March. According to sources close to the embattled leader he is going to introduce several "surprises".
Among these Assad will offer the immediate cancellation of Article 8 of the Constitution. The article limits the country's leadership to the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, so as to include all parties affiliated with the Progressive National Front. This gives the Baath Party full control on domestic and foreign policies.
In addition, Assad is expected to call for presidential elections. According to the sources, Assad believes he enjoys strong popularity in the major Syrian cities l especially Damascus and Aleppo, which has seen no significant demonstrations.
This comes as at least 50 people were killed in past four days in bloody clashes in the city of Homs between elements loyal to the regime and others who are opposing it.