Syria will not delay its presidential elections, minister says
The upcoming Syrian elections that seem likely to put President Bashar al-Assad back in office for a third term will not be delayed, regardless of the ongoing war, the government said Tuesday.
Assad personally has released no statement on whether he will run in July’s scheduled election, but his allies in Russia and Lebanon – in the form of Hezbollah – have predicted that he will win, Reuters reported.
Those opposed to the Syrian government have said that if the elections go ahead, Syria’s ruling powers will be a “parody of democracy” and that any chance of peace in the conflict would be jeopardized.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi was quoted by Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat on Tuesday as saying that the “elections would not be delayed and that military operations would continue regarless of the poll,” according to Reuters.
“It is not for any authority to postpone or cancel this election, which will be run on schedule…we will not allow security, military, or domestic or foreign political reasons to delay or cancel the presidential election,” Zoabi was quoted as saying.
The official’s statements come one day after Hezbollah, Russia and Iran released statements saying that Assad was no longer in any danger of being ousted from power.