• CAMPAIGNING WRAPS UP FOR SYRIA VOTE

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    DAMASCUS: Syria on Sunday (Monday in Manila) wrapped up campaigning for the June 3 presidential election expected to return Bashar al-Assad to power, a vote the opposition brands a “parody of democracy.” With swathes of Syria out of government control, Tuesday’s vote will only take place in regime-held territory, far from where Assad’s forces are battling the rebels who seek to topple him. The fragmented opposition, and their Western and Arab allies, will be left to watch powerlessly as the ballot returns Assad to power for a third seven-year term while the army makes advances on the battlefield. Assad’s sole competitors—MP Maher al-Hajjar and businessman Hassan al-Nouri—are little know and seen as token rivals.

    AFP

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