Syr­i­ans vote in first lo­cal coun­cil elec­tions in seven years

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

Syr­i­ans voted in the coun­try’s first lo­cal elec­tions since 2011 in a sign of re­turn­ing se­cu­rity and nor­malcy af­ter years of fight­ing with for­eign-backed ter­ror­ists.

Polling sta­tions opened at 7:00 a.m. lo­cal time (0400 GMT) on Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to Press TV.

More than 40,000 can­di­dates are vy­ing for 18,478 seats across all prov­inces, Syria’s of­fi­cial SANA news agency re­ported.

“Vot­ing cen­ters opened for cit­i­zens to cast their bal­lots to elect their rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tive coun­cils,” the re­port said.

State tele­vi­sion broad­cast footage of vot­ers in the cities of Da­m­as­cus, Tar­tus and Latakia tak­ing part in the elec­tions.

The lo­cal coun­cils op­er­ate at the mu­nic­i­pal level, and newly elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives are ex­pected to have more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as re­gards the coun­try’s re­con­struc­tion process.

The elec­tions were held at a time when Syr­ian Army troops and al­lied fight­ers con­trol some two-thirds of the coun­try fol­low­ing the re­cent ad­vances in south­ern ar­eas and Da­m­as­cus sub­urbs.

The Syr­ian Army is now pre­par­ing for the lib­er­a­tion of Idlib Prov­ince, the last ma­jor ter­ror­ist bas­tion in the Arab coun­try.

Syria has the back­ing of Rus­sia, Iran and Le­banon’s Hezbol­lah re­sis­tance move­ment in its bid to rid the strate­gic prov­ince, bor­der­ing Turkey, of ter­ror­ists.

Idlib hosts sev­eral ter­ror­ist groups backed by Turkey and other for­eign par­ties – es­pe­cially Western states, Is­rael and their re­gional al­lies.

SANA VIA AP Syr­i­ans vote at a polling sta­tion dur­ing mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions, in Da­m­as­cus, Syria, on Septem­ber 16, 2018.

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