Assad: Anybody Will Be Able to Run in Syria’s 2021 Election
Doubtless the Empire will make sure the opposition stays clear because it knows it can't win and then protests the vote as illegitimate
Editor’s note: Let’s say this, especially with a partial liberalization suggested by Russia, and a concession to Turkish-backed Islamists actually comes to be, and anyone may indeed put their name forth as candidate. Doubtlessly what would happen would be the repeat of the Venezuelan scenario: US Demanded Venzuela Opposition Not Contest Election vs Maduro They Knew They Couldn’t Win.
Especially now after the worst of the war, nobody could come close to beating Assad in a poll. He has become a symbol of stability and victory for the anti-Islamist, secular and anti-sectarian camp to rally around. It’s not even about Assad the person so much, as the rallying point he represents. A general of his, or another Syrian army war hero might have the closest thing to a shot, but certainly nobody the Empire would want.
In an interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he announced that the planned 2021 Syrian presidential election will be totally open to anybody who wants to run. He predicted there would be numerous nominees and a lot of challengers.
This election is intended to be part of the transition to a “post-war” government, even if Syria’s war isn’t necessarily entirely over at this point. Talk of having a very open system where everyone is free to run has been something Russia has long pushed as its vision for Syria’s future.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says President Trump and Turkey’s President Erdogan will be discussing their own political solution for “all of those in Syria.” This is almost certain to be at odds with the Syria-Russia track for post-war Syria.
Since early in the Syrian War, the US and Russia had very conflicting visions of what the future of Syria would look like politically, with the US maintaining that “free elections” would necessarily preclude any top officials of the Assad government, especially Assad, from running at all.
Whether the US and Turkey are in a position to push an alternative isn’t clear either, since the US and Turkey are almost certain to have very conflicting ideas on a number of issues, especially the issue of what happens to the Kurds.