News / Middle East

Voter Turnout Low in Syria Municipal Elections Amid Protests

A man casts his vote in Damascus, Syria, December 12, 2011.
A man casts his vote in Damascus, Syria, December 12, 2011.

Despite violence that continues to roil the country, Syria's government is holding local council elections Monday as it downplays anti-government unrest as the work of a small group of foreign-backed terrorists.

In Syria's northern, heavily Kurdish province of Hasaka a crowd chants slogans against local council elections taking place across the country Monday. Witnesses say voter turnout for the elections across the country was light.

Watch Syria video clip:

But Judge Khalaf Azawi, who heads Syria's electoral commission, told journalists that the voting process was a success and that many voters turned out to cast their ballots.

He says the democratic process was positive, thanks to the a electoral law which guarantees that elections take place in a free, democratic, and transparent way. He adds that voter turnout seemed heavy, during his visits to polling stations, showing democracy at work.

But in a suburb of Syria's second largest city of Aleppo, opposition activists crumpled and burned election posters, calling candidates “government lackies.” Parts of Aleppo and many other Syrian towns and cities took part Monday in the second day of an opposition-led general strike.

Voter Turnout Low in Syria Municipal Elections Amid Protests
Voter Turnout Low in Syria Municipal Elections Amid Protests

In a video on an opposition website, a mostly young crowd participated in what appeared to be a mock election in Syria's northern Idlib province. Young men placed paper ballots into a plastic voting box, with slogans of “regime change,” “resignation” of President Assad, and “a new government,” into the box.

Syria's Information Minister, Adnan Mahmoud, said given that the elections took place during the current political conditions, it demonstrated that they were a success.

He stresses that the elections happened on schedule, despite the current events that Syria is living through, showing the resolve of Syrian leaders in moving forward.

Timor Goksel, who teaches at the American University of Beirut, argues that the elections are a step in the right direction, but could be too little, too late.

“Although I can say it's a positive step, it seems to be a bit too late," said Goksel. "These are the sort of moves they could have done at the beginning without taking on the people and making this a regime-change war. Now, whether it will be a beginning step or a remedy, I'm not sure. I'm not sure how effective it will be.”

The government has also scheduled to hold parliament elections in February.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid