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White House Says Syrian Elections a 'Meaningless Exercise'


The White House has described Syria's parliamentary elections as a "meaningless exercise" marred by unfair laws and intimidation tactics by authorities.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says security forces used manipulation tactics to undermine critical independent voices. She says in manipulating the vote, the Syrian government again proved it cares little for the opinions and wishes of its people.

Perino also says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad again failed to deliver on his long-promised reforms.

Syrians voted Sunday and Monday in tightly controlled parliamentary elections that the opposition boycotted.

Some 2,500 candidates ran in the elections. But about two thirds of the 250 seats in parliament are reserved for the ruling coalition, led by President Assad's Baath party.

Officials have not given turnout figures for the voting.

Opposition groups dismissed the election as a sham.

The Baath Party controls all divisions of government in Syria. Power firmly rests in the hands of President Assad, who succeeded his late father in 2000.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.