Despite Syria’s ongoing conflict, life in many parts of the nation goes on. Syria’s election schedule is no exception. The last parliamentary elections before the latest held this month were in 2012. Since these elections are held every 4 years, the recent elections were far from a “political stunt” to bolster the legitimacy of the current government, but instead represented the continuity of Syria’s ongoing, sovereign political process.
Attempts to undermine the credibility of the elections have become the primary objective of US and European news agencies, however, even the US government’s own election monitoring nongovernmental (NGO) agencies have conceded the last presidential election in 2014 saw soaring voter turnout, and despite attempts to leave voter turnout this year omitted from US-European press reports, it appears to also have been high.
The Washington-based, USAID-funded “Election Guide” reported a 73.42% voter turnout in Syria’s 2014 presidential election, a turnout that would be astounding had they been US elections. Voter turnout for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections in the US, for example, were 57.1% and 54.9% respectively. The 2016 Syrian parliamentary elections appear to have also enjoyed a high turnout, with the International Business Tribune in its article, “Syria Elections 2016 Updates: Geneva Peace Talks Resume Amid Scrutiny Of Country’s Ballot Process,” reporting that: