First woman applies to run in Syria’s largely symbolic presidential race

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A woman has applied to run for president of Syria for the first time in the country’s history, The Associated Press reports.

Parliament Speaker Hammoud Sabbagh said Tuesday that Faten Ali Nahar, a 50-year-old woman living in the capital city of Damascus, entered the race slated for May 26. Little is known about Nahar.

Voting in the election, considered to be largely symbolic due to President Bashar Assad’s power, will be held on May 20.

Assad is expected to easily claim victory and retain power when he runs against Nahar and two other candidates, both male. Assad has been in power since 2000, and multicandidate elections were first introduced in 2014.

Critics of the country’s political system argue the elections were enacted merely to provide a facade of legitimacy. If victorious, Assad will serve his fourth seven-year presidential term, the AP notes.

The election comes in the wake of President Biden’s vow to not recognize the result of Syria’s presidential election unless certain precautions are met to ensure it is fair, according to the AP.

In March, Biden issued his first show of force against Syria since he took office in January. Biden ordered airstrikes on two targets in Syria in March in retaliation for rocket attacks targeting U.S. personnel in Iraq on Feb. 15. Biden called off the second airstrike amid reports of civilian activity around the target site.

Tags Assad Bashar al-Assad Election Iraq Joe Biden Syria Syria Syrian presidential election

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