Multi-candidate Presidential Elections Started at 7:00 a.m. Local Time

 DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Tens of Thousands of Syrians queued since the early morning hours Tuesday before ballot boxes to cast their votes in the Presidential elections.

The elections started at  7 a.m. sharp and are due to continue up to 7 p.m. local time, and in case of a high turnout- as expected- balloting would be extended for five more hours by a decision from the Higher Judicial Committee for Elections.

As expected earlier, due to huge turnouts by the Syrian voters countrywide,  the Higher Judicial Committee for Elections decided to extend the voting process by five extra hours  until 12:00 midnight.

Parliamentarian delegations from Iran, Russia, activists from the USA, Canada, Ireland, hundreds of journalists are present in Syria to accompany today's democratic manifestation.

Thousands of Syrian Expatriates from EU countries where elections were forbidden by the governments of those countries participate also in today's elections.

The Supreme Constitutional Court has announced that the final list of presidential candidates includes  Mr. Maher Abdulhafiz Hajjar, Mr. Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri and Dr. Bashar Hafez Al-Assad. The order of names is based on the date of the candidate's submission of application to the court for registration as a presidential candidate.

The final list was released after the court completed studying six grievance petitions submitted to it within three days following the rejection of the candidates' applications. Lawyer Majed Khadra made it clear that applications of Mr. Ahmad Ali Qse'a , Mr. Ali Hasan al-Hasan, Mr. Bashir Mohammad al-Balah, Mr. Khaled Abdu al-Kridi, Mr. Sameh Mekha'el Mousa and Mr. Samer Ahmad M'alla, who submitted grievance petitions to the court do not comply with conditions of the constitute and law.

On April 21st, The People's Assembly (Parliament) announced that the presidential elections are to be held on May 28th for the Syrians abroad and on June 3rd for the Syrian residents in the country.

The People's Assembly (Parliament) received twenty-four notifications from the Supreme Constitutional Court on applications submitted to it for registration as presidential candidates.

On May 28th,  Syrian Presidential Elections Started at 7:00 am local time in Syrian Embassies Worldwide.

Thousands of Syrian Expatriates flocked to the Syrian Embassies to cast their votes in more than 40 countries including Cyprus, Russia, Democratic Popular Republic of Korea, Iran, Malaysia, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, the Sudan, Sultanate of Oman, India, China and others.

According to Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Dr. Faisal al-Miqdad, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the presidential elections abroad, the elections were conducted in 43 Syrian embassies abroad and number of voters exceeded 95 percent of names registered in the electoral lists in these embassies.

al-Miqdad explained that the political decisions taken by certain states to prevent the holding of elections on their territories are a violation of all international charters and conventions on human rights, noting that the great turnout of the Syrian citizens to the Syrian embassies in order to participate in the elections exposed all attempts made by Western propaganda over the past three years in expressing their high awareness in maintaining their country‘s dignity and sovereignty and in declaring that they are against anyone who tries to attack Syria.

Interior Ministry estimated the number of eligible voters who have had their names registered in the electors' lists at 15,845,575, including those at home and abroad.

The Ministry noted, in a statement,  that 9601 polling stations have been equipped and prepared for casting votes, with 11776 ballot boxes, distributed in all of  the governorates.

The huge Syrian participation in the elections is but an expression of the Syrians determination to cleanse their country from al-Qaeda affiliates from more than 85 countries.

Casting their votes, the Syrians underscored their steadfastness in the face of those seeking to tamper with the homeland's stability and security, their ability to stand fast, firm and steadfast in the face of conspiracies in commitment to Syria's sovereignty and independent decision-making.



Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim