Syria: Damascus prepares for first parliamentary elections since 2016

Citizens in Damascus geared up for parliamentary elections on Saturday, as they added final touches to polling stations and shared their hopes for Sunday's polls that have been twice delayed due to COVID-19. Throughout the city plastered with political banners and billboards, workers were seen sanitising polling stations and organising voting booths for the first parliamentary elections since 2016. «Damascus Governorate carried out a full sanitisation process for the electoral centre yesterday and we have taken all necessary measures regarding social distancing, sanitisation and instructive signs to wear masks,» said Ayman Muhieddine, a member of the electoral commission at the Ministry of Justice. Residents were eager to choose among 2,100 candidates running for 250 seats. «I hope that I will elect the right person so he can fulfil my needs since he represents me. I wish for everyone to practice such right, because by doing so we are expressing our wishes and votes, and so that our demands can be heard in the parliament,» said one voter. Others drew attention to the country's economic difficulties. «I will not participate in the election because no one is saving us from the dire situation we are currently in. The increasing prices are something unbearable. Who will we elect? How do we know that he is going to do? They [old and upcoming MPs] are all the same,» remarked one citizen. Syria has recently been experiencing high inflation and rapid depreciation of the Syrian pound. The country and many of its business interests are also under sanctions from the United States and European Union.​​
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