Syrians loyal to the regime elect parliament: 28 dead on election day

Syrians loyal to the regime elect parliament: 28 dead on election day

In some areas of daraa, in some districts of damascus and in kurdish settlement areas, members of the protest movement responded to a call for a general strike.

Overall, the crowds in front of most polling stations were rather small, according to observers. In contrast, the interior ministry noted a "remarkable voter turnout". The ministry of information called it an "extraordinary day". Arab media reported that at a polling station in the damascus al-midan district, many citizens had written the names of political prisoners or killed activists on their ballots.

According to the constitution, parliamentary elections were already scheduled for last year. However, it had been postponed because of the uprising against president baschar al-assad, which continues to this day.

According to activists, government forces killed 28 people nationwide on election day. Most of the victims were in the provinces of hama and homs, it was reported. Among those killed were one child and five deserters. Two men and a woman were killed with knives.

The dissident fais sara, whose two adult sons were arrested in damascus last thursday, asked the news channel al-arabiya: "how can elections be held in such a situation??"He has not yet been able to find out anything about the fate and whereabouts of his sons.

Opposition activists demonstrated against the election in some towns and villages. On the internet, opponents of the regime posted a video purportedly from the village of madaja, northwest of damascus. Video shows children throwing paper garbage into a trash can placed on top of a ballot box. The video is titled "voting in madaja".

Polling stations remained open until late in the evening. According to official figures, 7195 candidates competed for the 250 seats in the parliament. Election results expected by tuesday evening at the earliest.

As part of his reform package, which was highly praised by russia, assad had a party law passed last year that permits the admission of new parties. In addition, the supremacy of the baath party, which was previously enshrined in the constitution, was abolished. With this party, his father, president hafis al-assad, once came to power. Six of the nine parties that received a license after the new party law was passed took part in the election.

Most well-known syrian opposition politicians are now either in prison or in exile. Some 10,000 people are believed to have been killed since the wave of protests against assad began. Even the deployment of UN observers has not yet ended the violence. Auben minister walid al-muallim met with the head of the observers, general robert mood, on monday. The state news agency sana reported that al-muallim had stated that syria welcomed the work of the observers and would continue to support them in their work.

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