Syria goes to the polls as new sanctions hit war-ravaged economy

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” We need to find an option for the living conditions,” stated Samer Mahmoud, who owns a clothes store.

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” God prepared, I hope we conquer these sanctions,” said Mouna Sukkar after casting her ballot.

Washington states the objective is to hold Assad to account. Damascus blames them for the hardship, as soaring costs and a fall in the worth of the currency makes life harder for Syrians.

“I concerned vote … due to the fact that we wish to live in security and for the increasing costs to decrease. Theres a big turnout,” said Ziad, a local who ran away and returned some 2 years ago. In 2016, when the town was rocked by battling, he had actually cast his tally in Damascus.

Reuters reported people voting throughout Assad-held territory at more than 7,000 polling stations, including for the very first time in former rebel bastions that the army has actually regained over the last two years.

The Syrian National Coalition, an opposition bloc based in Turkey that had Western backing, called it a “theatrical election by the Assad routine” with millions rooted out or in exile.

Syria held a parliamentary election on Sunday, gripped by a collapsing economy and new United States sanctions after President Bashar al-Assad clawed back control of the majority of the country.

“I came to vote … because we desire to live in safety and for the increasing costs to go down. Theres a huge turnout,” stated Ziad, a homeowner who left and returned some two years earlier. In 2016, when the town was rocked by combating, he had cast his ballot in Damascus.

In the town of Douma, in the eastern residential areas of Damascus where a fierce army offensive dispatched insurgents in 2018, candidate banners hung in front of stacks of debris, collapsed roofs and buildings pockmarked with bullets.

Thanks to help from Russia and Iran, Assad holds more of Syria than at any time in the war, with the northeast in Kurdish hands, and rebels now confined to a northwest corner near the Turkish border.

Lots of individuals crowded a polling station where a picture of a smiling Assad covered a wall.

The elections, originally set for April, were delayed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. At a ballot station in the capital Damascus, numerous voters– who were disinfected upon arrival– said they were stressed over the rising expenses of living.

More than 1,600 prospects, many prominent business people, were competing for 250 MP seats in the third such election since the dispute erupted in 2011. Not a surprises were expected in the vote that marked Assads 2nd decade in power, without any genuine opposition to the ruling Baath celebration and its allies.

The town was the site of a thought toxin gas attack that eliminated lots of people in 2018 and prompted Western missile strikes. Damascus and Moscow denied any chemical attack happened.

Assads challengers knocked the vote as a farce, nearly a years into a war that has killed numerous countless individuals and made millions refugees.

But the battered economy is sinking deeper into problem, hit also by a monetary disaster in Lebanon that choked off dollars and the hardest United States sanctions yet imposed last month.