Syrian regime announces parliamentary elections in April

Syrian regime announces parliamentary elections in April

17:10 - Voting to be held in areas under Syrian government control for 3rd time since civil war began; UN refused to recognize results of last election.

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday said parliamentary elections would be held in war-torn Syria on April 13.

The polls, to be held across government-controlled parts of Syria, are the third such elections in the country since the start of its nine-year civil war.

Assad’s forces today hold more than 70 percent of Syrian soil following victories against rebels and jihadists with Russian backing since 2015.

During the last polls in 2016, Syria’s ruling Baath party and its allies won a majority of the chamber’s 250 seats.

The United Nations refused to recognize the results.

The Baath party has governed Syria with an iron fist for the past half-century.

But in 2012, Damascus for the first time allowed candidates from outside the party to run in legislative elections.

Areas outside government control include the northwestern region of Idlib, where government forces are waging a deadly campaign against jihadists and Turkey-backed rebels.

Turkish forces have become directly involved in fighting since last week, downing several regime jets as bombardment has killed dozens of troops on each side.

Turkey also controls a large swathe of borderland in northeastern Syria, while US-backed, Kurdish-led fighters are present in the oil-rich east.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

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