Beirut (VG), On Wednesday, Bashar Al-Assad wins again in the presidential elections in Syria. Beyond the country’s borders, Syrians fear the consequences.
The war in Syria began with the hope of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad. Ten years later, his strength is stronger than it has been in a long time, and this week’s election is a confirmation of that.
There is no doubt that Assad will prevail.
Bashar al-Assad is the biggest terrorist of all of them. More brutal than Hitler, says Syrian Dhafer Bertawi (40). He is one of those who fled Syria after the outbreak of the war.
Wednesday’s elections are described as a mere formality in which Assad wins again, with no real alternatives. Just look at the results of the last years that Assad has won:
- 92 percent voted for him in 2014.
- 99.8 percent in 2007
- 99.7% in 2000
Bashar al-Assad’s slogan in this election campaign was “Hope for Work.”
However, many opponents hope that Assad will be removed, and believe that he stands in the way of Syria facing a brighter future.
– Is it a free choice?
– of course not. Even before the war, it was not free. I remember one time in an election, I voted three times, in three different places, for a competitor, says refugee Dave Bertawi.
He lives among 60,000 Syrian refugees who fled to the small mountain village of Arsal in Lebanon, on the other side of the border with Syria.
There is no running water in the camp, and the houses are homemade and packed with plastic. The families lived close together in miserable conditions. But for many, this is still a better option than returning to Syria.
Ten years of war in Syria: garbage must be collected to survive
He and other refugee VG have spoken to give Assad the primary responsibility for the fact that large parts of the country are in ruins, that at least 388,000 people have been killed, and that half of the population has been displaced since the outbreak of the war. 2011.
Bertawi himself served in the army when protests erupted in Syria in 2011, but when he saw how harshly they beat peaceful protesters, he chose to become a defector.
What I saw the army do to protesters was not fair. It was very brutal, and they didn’t want to protect people, just the lion, he said.
A: If I go back to Syria, I will be sentenced to death, because I believe I have left the army. He says now, I am locked up in this camp.
He wants free elections and he wants the United Nations to act as an observer.
I wanted my people to have their freedom.
Not free choice
From the capital, Damascus, large pictures of Assad along the way were posted on social media. The regime-controlled election commission approved only two opposition candidates, and at the same time disqualified more than 50 others who wanted to run in the elections.
The election law requires, among other things, that they have lived in Syria without residency for the past ten years, which excludes all opposition politicians who have lived in exile during the war.
“The Syrians will vote to make a promise that they will be obedient to Assad and the regime,” analyst Fabrice Balanche told AFP.
By holding elections, he is believed to be trying to prove the success of Syrian institutions.
But Western countries believe that the elections are neither free nor fair. They indicated that elections are only taking place in two-thirds of the country, that is, in areas controlled by the regime, according to the NTB.
Syrians living abroad were able to vote in advance, but only those with a valid passport with an exit stamp, and no refugees criticizing the regime who did.