Assad says ready for snap presidential election “if Syrian people want it”

The Syrian president told Sputnik he is ready to hold snap presidential election if the people call for it.

Snap presidential elections could be held in Syria if that is the desire of the Syrian people, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Sputnik in an interview.

“This depends on the Syrian people’s stance, on whether there is a popular will to hold early presidential elections. If there is such a will, this is not a problem for me. It is natural to respond to the will of the people and not to that of certain opposition forces. This issue concerns every Syrian citizen because every citizen votes for the president,” Assad said.

“But I have no problem with this in principle because the president cannot work without the people’s support. And if the president is supported by the people, he must always be ready for such a step. I can say that this is no problem for us in principle, but in order to take such a step, we need the Syrian public opinion and not the opinion of the government or the president,” Assad added.

The Syrian leader emphasized that snap presidential elections were not a part of the current political process.

“It has been proposed to hold parliamentary elections after the new constitution [has been adopted]. These elections will show the balance of powers on the political arena. Then, a new government will be formed in accordance with the representation of political forces in the new parliament… As for presidential elections, that is a an entirely different issue,” Assad said.

On February 22, Assad issued a decree calling for parliamentary elections in the country on April 13.

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