Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to run for third term in office

The speaker of the Syrian parliament, Mohamed al-Lahham, announced on Monday that Assad had submitted the necessary paperwork to stand for a third seven-year term, Deutsche Welle reports.

Lahham then read out a letter, which he said the president had submitted to parliament.

“I …Dr Bashar Hafez al Assad … wish to nominate myself for the post of president of the republic, hoping that parliament will endorse it,” it said.

Changes made to Syria’s constitution two years ago will make this the first time that multiple candidates are being allowed to run for president. Previously, Assad and his predecessor and father, Hafez al-Assad, had had their candidacies for the job approved in referendums. In the last one, in 2007, Assad was confirmed in office with 97,6 percent of the vote.

Assad is one of seven candidates who have announced their intention to run in the June 3 election, but none of the others is seen as having a chance of unseating the president, who has been in office since 2000.

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