Voting continues in Syria

Opposition politicians dismiss two-day parliamentary poll as a "pointless" exercise.

    The ruling Baath party is guaranteed 131 seats, or 52 percent of the total [AFP]

    Abdel-Azim was alluding to the fact that of the 250 parliamentary seats available, 167 are reserved for the ruling National Progressive Front (NPF) coalition, led by president Bashar al-Assad's Baath party. The party itself is guaranteed 131 seats, or 52 percent of the total.

    Familiar winner

    The other 83 seats are allocated to so-called independent candidates that are "close to the authorities," according to Abdel-Azim.

    "The NPF will come out the winner", he said, as it has done in all organised elections since 1973.

    The official SANA news agency, which also reported that 2,500 candidates were standing for the 250 seats in the assembly.

    The US dismissed the elections as a useless exercise.

    However, an official Syrian newspaper said Damascus had never needed "democratic" advice from abroad.

    The election is the second since al-Assad took over power in 2000 from his father.

    Voting was slow on Sunday indicating residents may be split on whether the election, totally lacking in suspense for most people, would bring any change.

    The vote was taking place "in total freedom and transparency", SANA said, without giving turnout figures for the first day.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months