War-torn Syria sets presidential election for 26 May

War-torn Syria on Sunday set May 26 as the date for presidential elections expected to give incumbent President Bashar al-Assad a new term in office.

Hamouda Sabagh, the head of the Syrian parliament, said that candidacy registration for standing in the polls would start on Monday and continue for 10 days, the country's state news agency SANA reported.

Syrians living abroad will vote on 20 May, Sabagh added.

Al-Assad, who has ruled Syria since 2000, is expected to run for and win a fourth term. His father held the presidency from 1971 to 2000.

In 2014, he was re-elected for a new seven-year term after gaining a landslide in Syria's first multi-candidate election.

Syria's crisis started with peaceful pro-democracy protests in Marh, 2011. It soon evolved into a full-blown conflict, drawing in foreign fighters and powers.

In recent years, al-Assad's forces, supported by Russian air power, have made military and territorial gains against the opposition.

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