Friday, April 20, 2007

Syrian Elections

Farid sends a note of concern regarding forthcoming Syrian elections. He points out that in his view:

On April 22, Syrians will choose a new Syrian Parliament represented by 250 members . . .
Of the 250 seats in the parliament, 167 have been pre-designated for the National Progressive Front of which the Ba'ath Party holds the majority number of seats at 135. The remainder 83 seats in the new parliament are assigned to Independents, some of whom entering the race are either too close to the regime or whose hands have been tied by new election laws that limit their spending. Effectively, there is no opposition in the Parliament that can challenge the Assad regime. If it does rise, as in the case of Riad Seif and Mamoun al-Homsi, both ex-members of parliament, they are stripped of their immunity and persecuted for freedom of expression.

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