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Daily News Analysis

Syrians in Lebanon throng to embassy to cast early vote

Crescent International

While Syrians outside the country in overwhelming numbers cast ballot in the advance poll on May 28, in Egypt by contrast the turnout was very low. Western governments reflecting cynicism and duplicity, rejected the Syrian poll while hailing those in Egypt and Ukraine. People around the world have begun to understand western hypocrisy better.

Beirut, Crescent-online
Wednesday May 28, 2014, 23:17 DST

Rejecting Western cynicism and delivering a tight slap on the face of naysayers, Syrian refugees by the hundreds of thousands thronged to their embassy in Beirut to cast ballot in the advance poll on Wednesday May 28.

It seemed nearly everyone of the one million Syrians in Lebanon had come out to vote. Even Reuters, the British news agency that is no admirer or supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, had to admit that the overwhelming majority said they supported the incumbent president.

Many clutched photographs of Asad and were determined to express support for him as well as the electoral process he has initiated. Reuters also admitted, quoting people, among them many Sunnis, that they supported Asad.

People said he was the only one who could restore peace and dignity to Syria. Some people were disappointed that they were unable to cast ballot because they could not reach the embassy in time because of the massive turnout.

Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali said that those unable to cast ballot in the advance poll could do so on June 3 near the border towns with Lebanon.

The Qatari-based Al Jazeera that has been a staunch supporter of the foreign backed rebellion in Syria had this to say about today’s advance poll: ”Cars and buses carrying Syrian voters thronged the main highway linking Beirut city centre to Baabda, where the embassy is located, while a stream of people trying to reach the embassy could be seen walking uphill for several kilometres in the blistering heat, amid the smell of gas and the loud nationalistic anthems blaring from some cars.”

Security at the embassy was provided by the Lebanese military as it tried to manage the crowds. Poll workers were overwhelmed by the crowds and struggled to check voters’ ID.

Syria has invited international observers from around the world to witness the first multiparty elections in the country. While many governments have already denounced the June 3 poll, civil society groups have sent representatives who will monitor the vote and report about what is taking place there.

Journalists, academics and peace activists from many countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc are on their way to Syria to observe firsthand the election and talk to people on the ground.


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