Syria: Press; elections, Ba'ath victory bigger than in past

16 May, 13:15

(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, MAY 16 - The Ba'ath party, which has been in power in Syria for half a century, has won an even larger victory than usual in recent parliamentary elections, which have been hailed by official media as "the first in the multi-party era and the first since the abolition of the Ba'ath party's parliamentary domination". Syria's electoral commission has released the final results of the vote on May 7, but did not specify the political affiliation of the 250 deputies elected.

Instead, it was the Lebanese paper As Safir, which is close to the Syrian regime, that provided more detailed analysis this morning. "The Ba'ath party has won a majority of around 60%," the Beirut paper said. According to the previous electoral law, Ba'ath, which has dominated Parliament since 1963, had a working majority of 127 out of a total 250 seats, a share of just over 50%. Three representatives of "new" Syrian parties, however, have been elected in Parliament. They are Qadri Jamil and Ali Haydar from the Front for Change and Liberation, and Amro Osi from the Initiative of Syrian Kurds. Opposition forces at home and abroad, activists and dissidents boycotted the election, branding it "a regime sham". Official media outlets in Damascus reported yesterday that the national voter turn-out was just 51.26%, but did not provide figures on previous parliamentary elections. As Safir pointed out today that the turn-out in the previous elections in 2007 reached 56%.(ANSAmed).