Beirut roads paralyzed by Syrian voters headed to polls


Thousands of mostly pro-Assad supporters flocked to the Syrian Embassy Wednesday to cast ballots in the presidential elections, causing suffocating traffic jams around Beirut.

Syrian voters head to the polls in Beirut, Lebanon.

Syrian voters head to the polls in Beirut, Lebanon.

The embassy opened its doors in the early hours of the morning when hundreds walked to the only polling station available to vote, with Syrian anthems blaring from cars and buses decorated with photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah flags.

A Syrian national told The Daily Star that he took part in the election out of fear that the regime would allow them to return to Syria.

Many voters grew frustrated with the measures taken outside the embassy where the doors were closed for a few hours at midday to allow security forces to better organize the process.

Due to the overwhelming number of voters, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali said he would extend the elections for an additional day, until Thursday at midnight.

Campaigning began earlier this month for the presidential election that is expected to keep Assad in power.

Assad faces two competitors, both largely unknown, who qualified from a pool of 23 who sought to run against the president.

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Categories: Arab World, Asia, Lebanon, Syria

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1 reply

  1. The Western media no doubt will call the election in Syria ‘a sham’. Well, it does not look like that in Lebanon. Without any force Syrian refugees want to vote! and … as the article says, most of them for Assad. Either we accept democracy or not. We cannot say we accept democracy ‘provided you vote as we would like you to vote’…

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