Record 51 presidential hopefuls apply to run in Syrian election

Cairo: A record 51 presidential hopefuls have applied to run in war-wracked Syria’s upcoming presidential election, which is likely to give President Bashar Al Assad a fourth seven-year term.

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The vote, scheduled for May 26, will be Syria’s second since the eruption of a devastating war in the country in 2011.

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The Supreme Constitutional Court referred to the parliament a total of 51 applications from people wishing to stand for presidency, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported after nominations closed Wednesday following a 10-day period.

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The 51 include Al Assad, seven women and a Syrian Kurd.

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35 members

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According to the Syrian electoral law, each contender must secure the backing of at least 35 members of the parliament dominated by Al Assad’s Baath Party.

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The Constitutional Court, which oversees the election, has five days to examine the nominees’ applications before releasing a final list, SANA added.

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Syria held its first multi-candidate presidential election in 2014 in which Al Assad won nearly 90 per cent of the vote. Al Assad has governed Syria since 2000.

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Syria is experiencing acute economic woes with some parts of the country are still outside the government’s control.

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