Syrian regime announces local elections for September

Syrian regime announces local elections for September
The Syrian regime has announced that municipal elections will be held on 18 September, but the Syrian opposition says the vote is will not bring about any real change.
2 min read
04 August, 2022
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued the legislative decree on Wednesday [Getty]

The Syrian regime is planning to hold municipal elections next September, according to state media.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a legislative decree on Wednesday stating the elections will take place on Sunday 18 September, SANA reported.

The vote will be held despite over half of all Syrian citizens being internally displaced or made refugees abroad after fleeing the regime’s violent crackdown on the country’s revolution, which began in 2011.

Elections conducted by the Assad regime in Syria have been widely dismissed as a farce by the international community and the Syrian opposition.

"The regime is trying to promote the principle of decentralisation demanded by a number of Syrians [by conducting elections], but these claims contradict its many decisions to dissolve provincial and local councils," lawyer Nizar Yahya told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Live Story

Yahya added that the Syrian regime had recently transferred some governors from the provinces they were overseeing to other provinces, despite their failure to guarantee supplies of basic provisions like fuel and water.

Members of local councils are elected for four-year terms and their primary responsibilities include managing and providing basic services to their governorates.

The vote will be the second of its kind since the beginning of the 2011 Syrian revolution.

Elections had been stopped following Assad's loss of control of large parts of Syria, but Russia's intervention in the conflict beginning in September 2015 has allowed his regime to take most of the county back.

Last May, Bashar al-Assad claimed to have obtained 95 percent of ballots cast in the country’s presidential election, securing a fourth seven year term in office. 

However, the election was described as a "sham" by global governments and the Syrian opposition. There were widespread reports of people being forced to vote for Assad and his two opponents were little-known, handpicked figures.