Monday May 05, 201406:58 AM GMT
Syria names three presidential candidates
Syria’s presidential candidates (from left to right) Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar, incumbent President Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Abdallah al-Nuri
Syria’s presidential candidates (from left to right) Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar, incumbent President Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Abdallah al-Nuri

Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court says three candidates, including incumbent President Bashar al-Assad, have been confirmed to run for presidency in the Arab country’s upcoming presidential election.

“The supreme constitutional court announces... the acceptance of candidacy bids registered by... Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan Abdallah al-Nuri and Bashar Hafez al-Assad,” said the court’s spokesman, Majd Khadra, on Sunday.

He added that the three people met the requirements of the country’s electoral law.

Khadra also said 21 other candidates were found ineligible, adding that they have until may 7 to appeal the decision.

President Assad is seeking a third term in office. He will face Hajjar, who is a lawmaker from Aleppo, and Nuri, a lawmaker from Damascus.

Under Syria’s law, each candidate needs to secure the support of 35 lawmakers in the 254-member parliament as each MP is allowed to back one candidate.

Syria’s presidential election will start on June 3; and Syrians living abroad will vote on May 28.

According to law, the vote must take place between 60 and 90 days before President Assad’s seven-year term comes to an end on July 17.

Damascus has insisted that it would hold the vote despite the foreign-backed militancy that has plagued the Arab country for more than three years.

Last month, Syria dismissed Western and opposition accusations regarding the presidential election, saying that it is planning to hold a free and transparent vote.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. According to some reports, over 140,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

SAB/HJL

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