A tale of three elections

LOUAI BESHARA/AFP This weekend is host to three elections: Nigeria, where ethno-religious violence and widespread accusations of fraud have marred the country’s first attempt at a democratic rotation of power; France, where the gap between conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Ségolène Royal has narrowed somewhat in recent days and many voters are still undecided; and ...

602419_070420_syria_05.jpg
602419_070420_syria_05.jpg

LOUAI BESHARA/AFP

This weekend is host to three elections: Nigeria, where ethno-religious violence and widespread accusations of fraud have marred the country's first attempt at a democratic rotation of power; France, where the gap between conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Ségolène Royal has narrowed somewhat in recent days and many voters are still undecided; and ... what was that third country again?

Oh yeah, Syria.

LOUAI BESHARA/AFP

This weekend is host to three elections: Nigeria, where ethno-religious violence and widespread accusations of fraud have marred the country’s first attempt at a democratic rotation of power; France, where the gap between conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Ségolène Royal has narrowed somewhat in recent days and many voters are still undecided; and … what was that third country again?

Oh yeah, Syria.

Syria, an anachronistic Baathist regime ruled by an opthamologist, is holding “elections without politics” on Sunday and Monday, in the words of the Carnegie Endowment’s Omayma Abdel Latif. You probably haven’t heard much about Syria’s parliamentary contests because, well, there isn’t much to tell. One faction of the beleaguered opposition, as is typical in countries where politics are window-dressing for dictatorship, has had enough:

It is “pointless to take part in an election whose results are known in advance,” said lawyer Hassan Abdel-Azim, spokesman for six banned parties operating under the umbrella National Democratic Rally (NDR).

And that is all you need to know about election #3. 

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