Wednesday, May 12, 2021 | Last Update : 04:16 PM IST

  Bashar al-Assad wins expected majority

Bashar al-Assad wins expected majority

AFP
Published : Apr 18, 2016, 6:16 am IST
Updated : Apr 18, 2016, 6:16 am IST

Baath party wins 200 of 250 seats

Manavjit Sandhu
 Manavjit Sandhu

Baath party wins 200 of 250 seats

Syria’s ruling Baath party and its allies won a majority of seats in parliamentary elections that took place last week across government-held parts of the country, the national electoral commission announced late on Saturday.

 

In a widely expected victory in polls labelled a “farce” by Syria’s Opposition, President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath movement and its allies ran under the “National Unity” coalition and won 200 of the Parliament’s 250 seats.

Syria’s national electoral commission published the names of all candidates who had won seats in the April 13 vote, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA.

Every candidate on the 200-strong “National Unity” list had won.

“Out of 8,834,994 eligible voters, more than five million cast their votes,” commission head Hisham al-Shaar was quote as saying. A record 11,341 candidates initially sought to run in the elections.

 

But about 3,500 candidates remained after the rest withdrew “saying they had no chance of winning”, Mr Al-Shaar said. The ruling Baath party has governed Syria with an iron first for the past half-century.

The vote is the second parliamentary ballot since the beginning of the war in 2011 — but the UN says it will not recognise the election. More than 270,000 people have died since Syria’s conflict broke out, and millions more have been forced to flee their homes. The country’s economy has all but collapsed and swathes of territory remain out of government control.

Meanwhile, a Syrian rebel group on Saturday said the United Nations-led peace talks had so far been extremely negative and criticised Opposition negotiators as divorced from a deteriorating military situation on the ground.

 

The statement from Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist group and one of the biggest rebel factions involved in the conflict, indicates the pressure facing the Opposition High Negotiations Committee as it takes part in a second round of indirect talks with the government in Geneva.

The talks appear to be making no progress toward ending the five-year-long war that has killed more than 250,000 people, while a military escalation has stretched to breaking point a truce agreement brokered by the United States and Russia.

“There is a clear division between the work of the (HNC) and the reality on the ground, for while Russia realises field gains for the benefit of the regime, giving it political momentum, and while the regime and Iran breach the truce... we see insistence from the (HNC) on pursuing the negotiations,” it said.

 

Russia and Iran have both provided military support to Mr Assad, with Moscow deploying its Air Force and Iran sending members of its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps and its regular Army.

Location: Syria, Damascus