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Britain says Syrian election will have 'no value'

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Britain on Monday dismissed the Syrian presidential election called for June, saying that holding it during a civil war means the result "will have no value or credibility".

Parliament speaker Mohammad al-Lahham announced the poll, which is expected to return President Bashar al-Assad to office, for June 3 despite the ongoing conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.

"Assad's plans for elections can only be designed to sustain his dictatorship," said Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds.

"They will be conducted against the backdrop of non-stop regime attacks on civilians, hundreds of thousands living under regime siege in horrendous conditions, and in a climate of fear where thousands of non-violent opponents to Assad have been detained or have disappeared.

"Millions of Syrians who have been displaced from their homes, or who live as refugees outside Syria, will be prevented from voting. Syria's new electoral law rules out any genuine opposition to Assad.

"Elections conducted on this basis fall far short of any international standard, and their outcome will have no value or credibility."

Simmonds urged Assad's regime to work to find a political solution to the three-year-old conflict.

ar/cc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140421/britain-says-syrian-election-will-have-no-value