UN urges Syria to reconsider election plans
Monday, April 21, 2014
NEW YORK - Urging Syrian authorities to reconsider plans to conduct a presidential election in early June, the United Nations announced Monday that holding elections in the current circumstances would hamper the prospects for political solution that the country so urgently needed, according to a news story on the UN website.
“Such elections are incompatible with the letter and spirit of the Geneva Communique,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, referring to the action plan adopted in 2012 to find a political resolution to the crisis in Syria.
The Assad regime had announced earlier Monday that presidential elections would be held on June 3 despite an ongoing civil war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives since 2011.
Meanwhile, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the Syrian presidential elections would have no value or credibility.
"Assad's plans for elections can only be designed to sustain his dictatorship," said British Foreign Office Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds.
Simmonds added that elections would be conducted against the backdrop of non-stop regime attacks on civilians, with hundreds of thousands living under regime siege in horrendous conditions, and in a climate of fear where thousands of non-violent opponents to Assad have been detained or have disappeared.
He also underscored that millions of Syrian citizens who have been displaced from their homes, or who live as refugees outside Syria, would be prevented from voting. "Syria's new electoral law rules out any genuine opposition to Assad."
Simmonds said: "The UK strongly endorses the democratic and pluralist vision put forward by the Syrian National Coalition, and we recognize the Geneva II political process as the proper place for the Syrian parties to negotiate political and constitutional transition. The Syrian regime must re-engage with this process, rather than undermine it."
The three-year conflict in Syria has internally displaced more than 6.5 million people, according to the UN, and more than two million Syrians are now registered as refugees in neighboring countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
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