compiled by Cem Ertür
22 April 2014
Both the Obama administration and the United Nations are fully aware that the June presidential elections in Syria will, in all likelihood, result in a landslide victory for President al-Assad and thus pave the way for a decisive end to the three-year long NATO-led genocidal war on Syria.
(daily press briefing by U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, Washington D.C., 21 April 2014)
Question: Okay. On the Syrian election just for a second. In your view, there’s no way that – there’s no way for an election to actually – for a real election to actually take place because of the current conditions in Syria, or because of the fact that there are millions of people outside who would – outside of Syria, or both?
U.S. State Department: Well, I think one of the major reasons, which you didn’t mention but is worth noting, is that this – the Syrian regime and the Assad family has a history of not holding free and fair elections. Also, clearly what’s happening on the ground and the fact that this brutality has happened at the hands of the very brutal dictator who is planning to announce elections we don’t think would be free and fair is really the greatest concern.
Question: Can you also just explain, how does it undermine the Geneva framework?
U.S. State Department: Well, as the London Eleven [Core Group of the Friends of the Syrian People] announced in its April 3rdstatement, any unilateral decision by the regime to hold presidential elections would be entirely inconsistent with the Geneva communique’s call for the establishment of a transitional governing body to oversee constitutional reforms leading to free and fair elections.
Question: So – on the Geneva, so I can understand you correctly, it is the transitional aspect that is missing? You need something transitional – a transitional government – to oversee some sort of a fair and free election?
U.S. State Department: Well, there are several aspects, Said.
U.S. State Department: I think the first and foremost is the brutality of this very dictator who is planning to hold these elections, so – and the history of what’s happened over the last few years. But certainly, the Geneva communique calls for the creation of a transitional governing body.
Question: So that’s the one I think that would legally – or stand in the face of a free and fair elections, correct? A transitional body of some sort.
U.S. State Department: Well, there are also steps – laws that have been passed by the regime that preclude anyone who hasn’t lived in the country for 10 years from running for office that make it very difficult for other candidates to run in an election like this.
Question: Okay. Do you still believe that Assad’s days are numbered?
U.S. State Department: We do.
U.S. State Department: And we certainly – as you know, [U.S. Special Envoy for Syria] Daniel Rubinstein is back in the region.
U.S. State Department: We continue to work with the opposition, we continue to work with our international partners, and we’ll continue to press for bringing an end to this regime.
Question: Okay. So no amount of transparency could actually be – could be conceivable, correct, in this – in conducting this kind of election?
U.S. State Department: I think --
Question: Aside from the fact that maybe one-third of the population is dislocated?
SANA, 21 April 2014
Speaker of the Assembly Mohammad Jihad Lahham said that candidates for presidential elections will be able to submit applications to the Supreme Constitutional Court starting from Tuesday, April 22, 2014 until Thursday, 1 May, 2014.
During Parliament session which was attended by Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, members of the government and representatives of local and Arab and foreign media outlets, al-Laham said that "from the People's Assembly I tell the Syrian people that the time for the presidential elections has come."
"We declare that presidential elections will be carried out on schedule with no delay, heedless of what some are saying from abroad in a bid to undermine our self-confidence and break down our political and democratic track."
He stressed that no will is superior to the will of the Syrian people, adding that the legislative institution in Syria is steadfast and it works diligently and faithfully for fulfilling its duty despite the martyrdom of some colleagues, the kidnapping of others and all attempts of targeting other parliament members.
Al-Laham called upon the Syrians inside and outside the country to practice their right to vote and those who wish to run for presidency to do so. [...]
MPs [i.e. members of the Syrian parliament] said that the announcement of presidential elections’ date is a milestone in Syria’s history that proves that Syria has conquered terrorism.
They saw that the elections come at an important juncture in Syria’s history, indicating that Syria is at the threshold of important phase that places responsibility on every Syrian citizen to rise to the challenge and determine the future of their country.
Al-Jaafari: Elections in any country is internal affair that no one has right to talk about