SOHR exclusive | Out of 17 millions Syrian people entitled to vote, 12 million people refused to participate in the "farcical show" of presidential election • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | Out of 17 millions Syrian people entitled to vote, 12 million people refused to participate in the “farcical show” of presidential election

Reliable sources in regime-controlled areas have told SOHR that a great number of residents did not participate in the “farcical show” of presidential election held three days ago, especially in the areas which had experienced protests and uprising and later became under the control of regime forces, including the eastern neighbourhoods of Aleppo city and countryside to Damascus and eastern Ghouta in Rif Dimashq, running through neighbourhoods, towns and villages of Hama, Homs, Daraa and al-Suwaidaa. Douma in particular, has topped the scene when Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asmaa al-Akhras, voted there. As expected, al-Assad has won a new presidential term with a share of voting exceeded 95%, at a time when video clips were circulated on social media confirming the illegality of this election, especially with no online system connecting the polling centres each others. Accordingly, a citizen was able to vote repeatedly in several centres, and this was what exactly happened. Moreover, officials in charge of the polling centres have collected many IDs and repeatedly voted for al-Assad, while regime soldiers were able to vote for more than 20 times, according to video footages taken in regime-held areas.

 

Talking to SOHR about the election, a civilian known by his initials as M.A. living in an area in Wadi Bardi in Rif Dimashq said “I did not participate in the presidential election held on Wednesday, despite al-Baath party emphasized on the resident in Deir Maqran town that they had to participate in ‘renewing allegiance and loyalty to Bashar al-Assad’, as they called. I did not participated in this ‘farce’ for many reasons, including the fact that I have a son detained in regime prison for nearly seven years for unknown reasons, and his fate remained unknown. There are other reasons relating to the disastrous situation of Syria and fear of awkward future with Bashar al-Assad being in power. Many of the region’s residents cast their votes just for fear of prosecution, some invalidated their voting by ticking the three candidates, while others provided their polling cards without selecting any candidates.”

 

In previous report, SOHR sources confirmed that residents in several areas in Daraa province in south Syria did not participated in the presidential election. It is worth noting that the population of these areas is estimated at more than 500,000 Syrian people. Not to mention the non-participation of Syrian citizens in areas under the control of Syria Democratic Forces whose number approximates 8.5 million, including indigenous people of these areas and displaced people from other provinces.

 

Another civilian known as H.J. from al-Wa’r neighbourhood in Homs city shared his experience with SOHR, saying “I was among a large number of residents who did not participate in the presidential election, as I have opposed the Syrian regime’s policy and its crimes. I also had a son who was killed by regime snipers in a neighbourhood in Old Homs which experienced uprising. Many of my friends and relatives did never participated in this show unlike what regime’s media outlets showed. Regime loyalists and affiliates who participated in marches praising the Syrian regime’s president, who won in the election even before it started, did not exceeded 3% of the Syrian people. Many of people who voted for al-Assad were forced to do so, and they never wanted al-Assad to stay in power. However, they were afraid of prosecution and criminality of regime security services.”

 

According to sources, the number of refugees since the beginning of the “Syrian Revolution” has exceeded seven million in various countries around the world. For example, there are three million Syrian refugees in Turkey, nearly 650,000 in Jordan, one million on Lebanon and nearly 250,000 in Iraq. While in Europe, there are over 530,000 Syrian people in Germany, nearly 110,000 in Sweden, 50,000 in Austria. Also, there are nearly 300,000 Syrian people in other Arab, African and American countries.

 

According to SOHR statistics, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) approximates five millions.

 

Syria’s population could regionally distributed as follows:

 

  • SDF-held areas in north-east Syria region: four million Syrian people.

 

  • Areas under the control of opposition factions in several Syrian provinces: nearly 4.5 million Syrian people (this statistic includes the forcibly displaced people).

 

  • Regime-controlled areas: 10,900,000 Syrian people.

 

According these statistics, SOHR has confirmed that the Syrian regime’s reports of the participation of 14 million Syrian people in the presidential election held in areas under its control and in other countries are completely untrue. SOHR has also confirmed that only five million Syrian people out of 17 million, the total number of Syrian people who are entitled to vote, participated in the presidential election, many of them were forced to vote, while the other 12 millions refused to participate in this show.

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