Presidential Elections in Syria

Today Syria witnesses presidential elections across the country in a stable and organized manner .There are over 12000 polling stations for 18 million voters, with three presidential candidates to choose from. Syria, a country that was previously on the rise has for the last ten years witnessed horrific events which led to bloodshed and major destruction to some of its infrastructure. However Syria is on the way to recovery and reconstruction. Taking major strides in amending many of its laws and modernizing them, Syria will in the future reap its rewards. Holding presidential elections is an important route to setting the path and righting the wrong. Accompanying these elections are parliamentary groups from different countries .Their role is that of observer. As for Syrians living abroad presidential elections were held on the 20th of May. Oddly enough some counties that boast of democracy banned Syrian citizens living in their countries to go to the Syrian embassy to vote. A fallacy of democracy.

 

On this issue Ambassador Ounfoan Al Na'eb Syria's ambassador to South Africa and in an exclusive interview with Syriatimes said the following"

Thursday, 20th May 2021, witnessed the holding of the Syrian Presidential Elections at the Embassies of the Syrian Arab Republic and its Consulate Missions abroad, including the Syrian Embassy in the Republic of South Africa, which hosted one of the polling stations.

The polling station opened its doors at 07.00AM (08.00 AM in Damascus’s time). The station saw a continuous turnout of the Syrian citizens to cast their votes in the Presidential elections, until the closing of the polling station. Perhaps, that was the most eye-catching sight during the voting day, despite the huge distance from their cities to Pretoria, the political capital of the Republic of South Africa.

Some of the Syrians had travelled more than 1000km, from cities like Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth, by planes or even by driving, to practice their rights in the elections. Some voters were over 80 years old, and some were as young as 18years old. The most beautiful scene was the Syrian children who accompanied their parents to the polling stations. They expressed their desire to vote, if not in these current elections, then in the next. Other parents told us that their children were pushing them to go and vote as it is a duty of every Syrian towards Syria which embraced them, and their fathers and grandfathers before."

Ambassador Ounfoan continued to say "During the polling process, one could sense the love and care that the voters hold for Syria, through their facial expressions, before even listening to their words, and through the smiles and positivity they were emenating.

The polling process – which does not exceed 10 minutes from the moment of approaching the election committee, to slide the envelope inside the ballot box – extended to more than 30 minutes, as the voters used this time to chat with the Embassy’s staff about their memories and overwhelming feelings for Syria, the caring mother, and its sister, South Africa and their new life in it.

Thousands of kilometres that separate Syria from South Africa, did not succeed in changing those feelings towards Syria. The long and exhausting flight hours never prevented them from visiting it, to reunite with the extended family members. One of the young Syrians who hasn't exceeded 13 years of his age, insisted on his Syrian father and South African mother to spend his summer vacation in Syria after he visited it for the first time and met with his relatives back there. He even started his Arabic language lessons to be able to communicate with his cousins in his next visit.

Holding of the Presidential Elections in Syria and abroad has several indicators:

-         It is an inevitable result of clinging of the honest Syrians to their homeland, and their unity around their firm State. It is a culmination of the military and political victories that were achieved by Syria in its war on the externally – sponsored terrorism, a culmination of the sacrifices of our noble martyrs, who gave their blood to protect our nation and defend our great people.

-         It is an affirmation of the existence of the Syrian State and its viability, a reiteration of upholding the legitimacy that led Syria to escape the dark terrorism tunnel, the legitimacy that some Western sponsoring- terrorism states attempt to destroy through arming, training, and funding armed terrorist groups and sending them secretly and openly to Syria. This is exactly what prevented countries like Germany for example to allow holding these elections in our embassy in Berlin and that is living proof of the continuous interference by some Western states in the Syrian internal affairs. Such irresponsible acts represent a stark violation of the UN Charter that oblige states to not interfere in internal affairs of other states.

-         It is the best response of the great Syrian People to the looting of their resources such as oil and wheat by the Western states, and imposing unilateral coercive measures which deprived them from their basic life needs, such as preventing them from importing the necessary vaccines to provide immunity for the Syrian children from diseases and sicknesses, thus preventing them from an equal chance to other peoples around the world to get COVID-19 vaccines.

-         It is a clear and explicit message from the Syrian expatriates. A message stating that Syria is resistant to conspirators, and it belongs to the Syrians, and its future will only be written by the Syrians from all spheres categorically deny any foreign mandate or dictates. They build the future and accomplish it with hard and devoted work.

I would like to conclude by thanking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and my colleagues in our Ministry, Embassies and Diplomatic and Consular Missions, as well as applauding the efforts provided by my colleagues in our Embassy in Pretoria, Syrians and South Africans, to make this Presidential Elections a success, and to demonstrate to the whole world that this ugly terrorist war, which was launched on Syria since a decade, and the unilateral, coercive, illegal and unethical measures, will not defeat or weaken the determination of the Syrians, rather, it will strengthen their resolve to march forward, and restore our mother country Syria to light the whole world with its civilization and culture.

Reem Haddad

Editor-in-chief

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