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March 14, 2012

Why Assad chose the 7th of May for Parliamentary elections?

March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012

After a year of political/military manoeuvring, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has sent his army to deprive the Free Syrian Army of safe havens inside Syria. Homs, Al-Rastan and Idlib have returned to his control, though one might argue temporarily, till another revolt.

But why did Assad choose the 7th of May for his first, allegedly, free elections?

The 7th of May is a sensitive date in Lebanon; it would be the 4th anniversary of the 2008 Hezbollah led military attack against its anti-Syria foes, the 14th of March coalition. The pro-Syrian takeover of Lebanon was specifically a blow to the United States and most importantly to its regional ally, Saudi Arabia. Qatar's Prince brokered a deal that ended with the formation of a new coalition government, where Assad's allies had the veto power they have always demanded.

The election date could be symbolic, as it resembles, at least for Assad and his regime, another victory against its Arab foes. After the alleged military victory, reforms could seal the deal, Assad might think. He might have missed the fact that aside from his regional contests, there are millions of Syrians who have taken to the streets, or arms, to topple his regime and its repressive security apparatus. These revolting millions will always remain in Syria, regardless of geopolitical manoeuvres and contests, the regime's favourite games.


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