Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Idlib: Saraqib votes for its first elected local council

Local | 2017-07-19 16:12:27
Idlib: Saraqib votes for its first elected local council
(Zaman Al Wasl)- For the first time, hundreds of residents of Saraqib city participated in elections to vote for a local council in the opposition governed areas of rural Idlib on Tuesday. 

Speaking to Zaman al-Wasl, Mohammad Musfra, the director of Public Relations in the former council and head of the electoral center in the city, said “The electoral process for the city local council took place by direct voting. We opened eight polling stations (five for males, three females) which were monitored by community organizations and [members of] the Syrian interim government.”

Musfra said that the election commission distributed 4499 electoral cards to the city’s residents, and the participation rate in the elections was 55%. He explained that everyone who is registered as from the city and has attained 18 years of age, was entitled to vote. He insisted that the voting cards were distributed to all those interesting in voting and not to everyone who is entitled to vote. 

According to Musfra, 22 people were originally nominated as candidates in the local council elections, but 7 of them subsequently withdrew. Initially, four candidates competed for the position of Council president, but two candidates withdrew from the race. He pointed out that candidates were required to hold a high school degree or higher degree to run in the elections. 

The local council elections in Saraqib are considered the first of their kind in opposition control areas. The local councils in neighboring villages and towns have a more family feel to them, distinguishing Saraqib’s and its choice to hold direct elections for its local council. 

Radwan al-Atrash, the head of the Political Commission in Idlib praised Saraqib’s electoral experience highlighting the seriousness of the proceedings, and that all participants abided by the law during the electoral process. 

Al-Atrash, who is monitoring the elections alongside several civil society organizations, described the elections as successful despite being the first free elections held in Saraqib. He hoped that this electoral experiment would be replicated in other liberated areas.

The results of the local council elections, both presidential and executive, are expected to be announced within the next few hours as the counting of votes continued into the late hours of Tuesday night.
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