Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Lahham added four more candidates would contest the election, bringing the total to seven. Assad’s plan to run was not a surprise; he is expected to win, despite a violent, three-year uprising against his administration, against five relatively unknown candidates.
It remains to be seen if this war-torn country, with over a million refugees already escaped, can support a successful election.
Sawsan Haddad, Samir Mala, Mohammed Firas Rajjuh, Abdel-Salam Salameh, Hassan Abdullah al-Nuri and Maher al-Hajjar are Al-Assad’s opponents.
Across Syria Sunday, unrest continued. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, headquartered in London, reported a mortar attack by rebels killed at least 21 people in Aleppo. It also reported the explosion of a building, housing government troops, in the Old City section of Aleppo, as well as government air raids which killed at least six people.
In Wadi Suwab, in eastern Syria, Iraqi helicopters crossed the border to strike a jihadist convoy, killing at least eight, a spokesman for the Iraqi Interior ministry said.