Registration for Syria's presidential poll closes

Written by: IANS
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Damascus, May 2: Registration for Syria's contentious June 3 presidential vote has been wrapped up with 24 contenders, including incumbent President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Syrian parliament.

Parliament Speaker Jihad al-Laham announced the names of the last seven people who registered their candidature at the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) before the deadline Thursday afternoon, Xinhua reported.

The 10-day registration for the election started April 22, triggering a barrage of criticism by the opposition parties.

Judge Adnan Zuraiq, who heads the SCC, said the applications of the 24 contenders will be studied by the court in accordance with the electoral law and constitution.

Voting in Syria will start June 3 and initial results will come out in 5 days.

Initial results will come out in five days, Zuraiq said.

According to the law, each runner for the elections must secure the backing of 35 parliamentarians of the 254-member parliament, a condition limiting the number of those who would eventually be declared candidates as each lawmaker is permitted to back one candidate only.

Voting inside the country will start June 3, while the overseas Syrians will cast their votes May 28.

Opposition groups inside and outside Syria have criticised the decision to hold the presidential election amid the current civil war in the country.

More than 150,000 people have been killed and one-third of the population displaced in grinding clashes between government troops and armed militant groups.


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