First woman to run for Syrian presidential elections

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Fateh Nahar, who filed in her nomination papers to run for Syrian presidential elections on Monday, became the first woman to do so in the country’s history. Her candidature was announced by Speaker Hammoud Sabbagh. While making the announcement, Sabbagh shared information regarding her age, place of birth and her mother’s name, although not much is known about her yet.

Syria, which is currently governed by President Bashar Al Assad. would be holding its presidential elections next month on May 26. Though observers slammed the move as merely a symbolic one, undertaken to throw dust in the eyes of international community to put a show of democracy. Assad has been running the country since 2000 as his took over the control after the death of his father Hafez, who ruled the nation for 30 years.

Syria allowed multi-candidate voting since the 2014 elections. This would be the country’s second presidential election. But hope for change remains low as everyone knows the outcome of the election. Like last the polls, President Assad is believed to win this one, through critics question fairness and legitimacy of these elections. International community has refused to acknowledge the results of the current election. Last month, the US President Joe Biden outrightly refused to recognise the result of Syria’s presidential election, pressing the need for free and fair voting, supervised by the UN forces.

The country, which has been battling severe political crisis and civil war like scenario for over a decade, has been asked by UN agency to draft and adopt a new constitution, approved by public through referendum. Unfortunately, the country has made little progress in the area. Al Assad’s rule in Syria, which is highly contested, is strongly backed by Russian military aide and Iranian support.

Besides political crisis, the country is also struggling to free itself from the grip of stifling economic crisis. Syria is battling high inflation, soaring food prices and plummeting currency, which the Assad government said was the consequence of Western sanctions.

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