Syria proposes draft election law

July 27, 2011 at 9:54 AM

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 27 (UPI) -- Though violence continued Wednesday, the Syrian government announced it approved a draft law on general elections as part of rolling reforms.

The Syrian government approved a final draft bill that regulates parliamentary and local council elections. The law provides for a high committee consisting of five independent judges to ensure the integrity of the elections, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reports.

Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud said the draft law is a "quantum leap" toward a democratic Syria. Parties competing in future elections can present candidates on collective lists or individually at the ballot box, he added.

The measure follows similar action regarding the development of opposition parties in the country. Damascus has unveiled a series of political reforms it says are meant to allay concerns of anti-government protesters upset with the Baath Party leadership of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Independent human rights groups put the death toll in Syria at around 1,500.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least eight people were killed Wednesday by government forces, the BBC reported. Foreign journalists are barred from covering events in Syria, however, making independent verification difficult.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Ted Cruz campaign pulls ad featuring softcore porn actress
Report: Clinton Foundation subpoenaed by State Dept. watchdog over charity projects
Ruby Rose, Gigi Hadid react to Kanye West's lyric about Taylor Swift
Kristen Wiig impersonates Peyton Manning on 'The Tonight Show'
NYC police officer found guilty of manslaughter in Brooklyn stairway shooting