SOHR exclusive | Syrian politicians and activists: “Western countries indifferent to regime election with no serious or official response”
The Syrian regime has been preparing to run for a presidential election, scheduled to take place on May 26, that has been rejected by the opposition different factions. The integrity of the election is also doubted by western officials who deemed it as a tool for excluding the Syrians abroad and the opposition-controlled areas.
In an interview with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), four Syrian political analysts described the elections as a “Russian, Iranian-backed political farce play that doesn’t represent the Syrian people.”
“Likewise, the other elections that run in Syrian over the past fifty years, the near future presidential election will result in 99 percent votes for the president,” Mahmoud al-Waheb, a political analyst and journalist told SOHR.
Predicting the balloting process will lead to less percentage of success if the regime allows, al-Waheb explained that the Syrian elections have been taken the same path since the front lists have been either penetrated in many Syrian cities or even completely collapsed in the others.
On the real ground, nobody understands what is happening in Syria or how matters were administered in the deep country that has been established by Hafez al-Assad, he said, adding the situation in Syria obstructs the logic of the life.
Though absurd and surreal, the Syrian situation is a movie that we can see obviously. We even have been living that unbelievable reality since Hafez al-Assad has seized the power without any real support or approval by any political force in the country or even some of his party’s members, the political analyst said.
Al-Wahed reiterated that “The Syrian regime and its bodies have tried to blind eyes of the Syrians and pull them towards ignorance.”
He pointed out, “I mean that idiot leaders attempt to create that kind of ignorance environment.”
I couldn’t add more words not to mistreat the Syrian people whose civilization heritage dates back to the world’s old history. To tell you the truth, the Syrian people aren’t oblivious to the actions of the tyrant leaders, he added.
Answering a question about the constitutionality of the elections, al-Waheb told SOHR that election is inevitably illegal. From where the legality come? From the foreign militia and armies that control 40 percent of the Syrian swath, or from the ten million people who have been displaced domestically in eastern and northern Syria or abroad in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Europe, or from the tens of thousands who were arrested or prisoned, or from the civilians who were raided by the Russian and the regime strikes, or from the kids who were killed by the chemical weapons, or from the economic conditions that pushed the Syrian citizens to the verge of hunger, the journalist inquired.
He highlighted that ongoing Syrian conditions have not been experienced by the Syrian people since the independence of the country, seventy-five years ago. The previously mentioned matters may create another state and different results, but those changes will be always connected to the Iranian and the Russian stand which is more controlling the decision-making in Syria.
The political analyst further stressed that “the elections only gain its legitimacy from all the Syrian people. However, the elections could only be run in accordance with the UNSC resolution 2254 that has been stalled by the regime so far.”
The elections should be run through a comprehensive political process, that should be preceded by the presence of a transitional governing authority that paves the suitable peaceful conditions for securing the electoral conditions, namely; releasing the political prisoners and the forcibly disappeared people, allowing the immigrants and the displaced people who have been received unfair sentence to return home safe. At that point, all the Syrians could take place in elections either candidates or voters. Otherwise, the absurdity will be repeated again, according to al-Waheb.
On the other hand, Dr. John Nastta, a leader in the Syrian Communist Party, told SOHR that “the presidential election is a mock and show election like the previous ones that the Syrian people have been used to experience since more than fifty years ago, and its results are previously known. What will remain is only the percentage of in favor of the candidate that will vary from 97 to 99 percent.”
He added, the coming election will add more embarrassment to the regime because half of the Syrian people aren’t located in their original residential areas. They are either refugees or displaced, and they eventually couldn’t take part in the balloting process.
He affirmed the elections contradict the international legitimacy decisions that have stipulated to run the election in the transitional period under the supervision of the United Nations as mentioned in the UNSC’s resolution number 2254. It will be also conflicted with the negotiations process that has taken place in Geneva between the Syrian regime and the High Negotiation Committee, an umbrella body that represents the Syrian opposition in the talks, and will demolish the efforts of the constitutional committee that has been working on drafting a constitution, upon which a presidential and legislative election will be held.
He added, for the aforementioned reasons, the members of the Syrian Communist Party who took part in the preparatory commission for forming the democratic national front oppose the participation in the election, don’t recognize its legitimacy and call for boycotting it.
From his side, secretary-general of the Kurdish Democratic Unity Party, Mohy el-Din Sheikh Aali told SOHR that the elections process with its results are a ready-made process that coincides with unreliable media voices due to the absence of modern laws that organize the work of the parties and the media in light of the behavior of the one-party policies which prevailed Syrian since the Ba’ath Party has seized the power through a military coup on March 8, 1963.
Meanwhile, Actham Naetha, a Syrian political activist, said “the coming presidential election carries several messages and indications that have been revealed in the persistence of the regime to run it with non-valued, unknown or active people at the political level.
He added the presidential candidates were not further chosen to run for the presidency but were chosen by the regime which reflected the indifference of the regime only towards the Syrian people but also to the countries that are pressing it to go through negotiations for solving the constant unpeaceful Syrian crisis.
Naetha deemed Russia which insists on running the elections on time seeks to reproduce the same regime but with other colors. Accordingly, the attempts of Russia and some Arab and regional countries to run the elections to relatively recognize the regime and restore its seat in the Arab League should be reconsidered.
He illustrated that some regime-backed countries seek to recycle al-Assad regime for another term at least in addition to other allies who insist on that reproduction step, while the western side showed complete indifference, noting that up till now, we haven’t seen any serious and significant response regarding the preparations for the elections.
The activist told SOHR “all the previous attempts and negotiations haven’t led to a political settlement.”
There is no consensus or agreement among the negotiating sides, he said referring to the absurdity of running the election in this time when the Syrians are living hard conditions that could reach extreme poverty in the absence of a political economic program through which al-Assad can present tangible solutions for the deteriorating economy and solutions for the catastrophic conditions in the country.
He noted that the Syrian political situation witnesses a state of stalemate and stagnation in addition to the opposition’s failure to proceed with steps in the path of the solution and in the context of the mechanisms made by the influential countries in settling the Syrian crisis.