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Syria gears up for presidential elections amid escalating violence

English.news.cn   2014-05-01 01:57:39

DAMASCUS, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The process of the presidential elections in Syria is in full swing, as violence has intensified in many Syrian areas.

The Syrian Parliament on Wednesday announced the candidacy of six new contenders for the contentious June 3 presidential race, bringing the overall number of those who have so far announced their bid for the top post to 17, including incumbent President Bashar al-Assad.

The 10-day registration for the elections started on April 22, triggering a barrage of criticism by the opposition and their Western backers.

Earlier on Wednesday, the oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB), a main domestically-based opposition group, reiterated their rejection of the current presidential elections in Syria, slamming it as "unreal."

Hassan Abdul-Azim, the head of NCB, said that the current situation in Syria is "chaotic" and "impossible" for holding real presidential elections, stressing that tranquility and stability are key ingredients for holding a presidential vote.

The NCB previously said it was going to boycott the vote.

Hassan said the real solution to the crisis could be reached by an international and regional consensus on solving the conflict.

The NCB's fresh remarks came just a couple of days, following Assad's announcement of his candidacy for the controversial presidential vote.

Syria's crisis, already in its fourth year, has left more than 150,000 people killed and one third of the country's population displaced out of their homes.

Still, the announcement of the presidential elections has all but helped in curbing the intensity of battles and explosions that have been rocking the country since three years ago.

A day earlier, the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front staged a twin car bombings in a government-controlled district of the central city of Homs, killing 100 people, including 80 civilians, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The state news agency SANA said on Tuesday that 36 people were killed in the deadly bombings, but the Observatory on Wednesday updated the death toll to 100.

The long-running crisis in Syria has largely affected the country's patchwork of sects and beliefs, particularly after the jihadist groups joined the rebellion against the Assad administration.

In Homs, battles have continued between the militant groups and the government troops, which have pressed a wide-scale offensive to dislodge rebels from a few remaining rebel-held districts in the old part of the city.

The battles have also continued in the northwestern province of Aleppo, northern Idlib and most notably in the eastern countryside of the capital Damascus.

According to local media reports, the clashes intensified Wednesday in the eastern suburbs of Jobar and Mlaiha, as part of the government troops' bid to wrest control over those areas.

The rebels also continued their indiscriminate mortar shelling against districts of Damascus, injuring and killing many people on daily basis.

Editor: yan
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