Reruns delay Syria parliamentary election results

Vote counting was underway on Tuesday in Syria after reruns in five polling stations delayed the results of parliamentary polls guaranteed to renew the ruling party's hegemony. The reruns of Sunday's vote were held Monday in four polling centres in Aleppo province and one in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, the official SANA news agency said.

The fresh polling was ordered by the electoral commission after suspected discrepancies were reported between the number of cast ballots and the number of registered voters. Such reruns are not uncommon in Syria, where results took four days to be released in the previous legislative polls held in 2016.

The election comes at a critical phase for the Damascus government, which has reconquered much of the territory lost at the beginning of the country's war but faces its hardest economic challenges yet.

More than 7,000 polling stations opened across government-held parts of Syria, including for the first time in former opposition strongholds, in the third such polls since the war started nine years ago.

The millions of Syrians who fled the conflict were not eligible to vote.

Several lists were allowed to run across the country but, without any real opposition, President Bashar al-Assad's Baath party and its allies were expected to win most of parliament's 250 seats.

"The Baath party -- led by the president, Bashar al-Assad -- will win most of the... seats," said Edward Dehnert, an analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

"The remainder will be split between allied parties in the Baath-led progressive national front and independents, including prominent business figures."

The elections were twice postponed from April due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 522 people and killed 29 in government-held areas, according to official figures.

Portraits of the contenders have been displayed across the capital for weeks, with the 1,658 candidates, including several prominent businessmen.

Many candidates are running on pledges to tackle sharp inflation and improve infrastructure ravaged by the conflict.

The next presidential polls are expected in 2021, and potential candidates will need the written approval of at least 35 members of parliament.

Similar articles

  • Macron in Beirut calls Lebanon for reforms, volunteers to coordinate international support

    Macron in Beirut calls Lebanon for reforms, volunteers to coordinate international support

    Arriving in Lebanon on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron called for the country's political elite to make swift and urgent reforms, news wires reported. Macron became the first world leader to visit Beirut after the deadly and devastating port blast on Tuesday, that killed over 100 people and left up to 300,000 without homes. It was the latest blow to a country already reeling from an unprecedented economic crisis and political turbulence.

  • Macron goes to Beirut, world offers help to Lebanon

    Macron goes to Beirut, world offers help to Lebanon

    France on Wednesday sent planes to Beirut with rescuers, medical equipment and a mobile clinic, ahead of a visit on Thursday by President Emmanuel Macron, as world leaders offer support to the Lebanese capital devastated by a massive explosion. Macron will meet his counterpart Michel Aoun, whom he called late Tuesday, as well as PM Hassan Diab, the Elysee Palace announced. Lebanon is a former French protectorate and the countries retain close political and economic ties.

  • Years of negligence lead to deadly Beirut blast

    Years of negligence lead to deadly Beirut blast

    Initial investigations indicate years of inaction and negligence over the storage of highly explosive material in Beirut port caused the blast that killed over 100 people on Tuesday, an official source familiar with the findings said cited by Reuters. The PM and presidency said on Tuesday that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.