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Middle east

Assad says ‘no obstacles’ to running for re-election

© Photo: AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-21

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad revealed he is considering running for re-election in 2014, despite the country’s ongoing conflict. Assad told Syrian television on Monday that he does not “see any obstacles” to being nominated for another term as president.

Assad: conditions not yet right for peace talks

Conditions are not yet right for proposed peace talks on Syria’s bloody civil war to be successful, President Bashar al-Assad said during his interview with Al-Mayadeen television on Monday.

The United States and Russia have been trying for months to convene an international conference in Geneva to negotiate a political solution to the Syria conflict, with the UN setting a target date of mid-November for the proposed talks.

“The factors that would help in holding it are not in place if we want it to succeed,” said Assad.

“Who are the groups that will participate? What is their relation with the Syrian people? Do they represent the Syrian people or do they represent the country that made them?” he asked. “There are many questions about the conference.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might consider running for re-election in 2014, he told a television interviewer on Monday, saying he saw nothing that would get in the way of doing so.

“Personally, I don’t see any obstacles to being nominated to run in the next presidential elections,” he said on Syria’s Al Mayadeen TV when asked whether he thought it was suitable to hold the election in 2014.

Assad inherited power from his father in 2000 and was confirmed in an election in which he ran unopposed. He was re-elected in 2007. The Assad family has ruled Syria, where parliament is considered a rubber stamp, for more than 40 years.

But the president is now fighting a civil war after street protests calling for more rights in 2011 were met with force and then developed into a full-scale rebellion. More than 100,000 have been killed and millions displaced.

Assad has defied calls from his Syrian opponents and many foreign governments to stand down. He told the interviewer the will of the Syrian people would influence his decision on whether to run in 2014.

“As for people’s desire, it is too soon to talk about it. We can only discuss it when the election date is announced,” he said.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-10-21

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