The U.S. State Department has denounced Syria's presidential election on Tuesday as neither "free nor fair" one day before voters are set to head to the polls across the beleaguered nation.
Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenSullivan raised normalizing relations with Israel during meeting with Saudi crown prince: report Democrats call for State to lift ban on embassies discussing same-sex marriage US, Brazil discuss ways to slow migration MORE, in concert with foreign ministers of the U.K., Italy, Germany and France, said in a statement that Wednesday's Syrian elections were deemed "fraudulent" because they were being held outside of UN supervision.
"We denounce the Assad regime’s decision to hold an election outside of the framework described in UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and we support the voices of all Syrians, including civil society organizations and the Syrian opposition, who have condemned the electoral process as illegitimate," the statement continued.
The remarks come as Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is standing for reelection in tomorrow's contest against two challengers including Mahmoud Ahmed Merei, head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights. Assad's government has been roundly denounced over the past half decade amid its suppression of demonstrators and rebel forces during the Syrian Civil War.
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the main group representing Syria's rebel forces, has also denounced Wednesday's election as "illegal and a farce," while another opposition coalition, the Syrian National Council, has said that no election in which Assad participates shall be accepted.