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Syrians vote in parliamentary poll

Monday, May 07, 2012 - 01:28

May 7 - Syrians out in force to vote in parliamentary elections, despite violence in the country's east. Jessica Gray reports.

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Syrians are at the polls Monday to elect the country's new parliament. Scenes at polling stations are peaceful, but that cannot be said in the country's east, where battles between government forces and protesters rage on. A U.N. spokesman said the organisation is monitoring the polls as part of its mandate to uphold a ceasefire that has done little to stop fighting in revolt hotbeds. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEERAJ SINGH, UNSMIS (UNITED NATIONS SUPERVISION MISSION IN SYRIA) SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "The same regular activity is continuing you will have the observers going around. The military observers so they are carrying all the tasks that the military observers do with respect to monitoring the full cessation of violence" Opposition leaders, many of whom have fled the country or were arrested, are boycotting the vote. But others like Greek Orthodox Archbishop Moussa Khoury say the polls could herald much-needed change for the better. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ASSISTANT PATRIARCH FOR GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH, ARCHBISHOP MOUSSA KHOURY, SAYING: "God willing, the next parliament will be able to change some mistakes in the constitution. But, today, we need to help our country and vote. We need to present people who are competent to carry this message to the country." The country's 14 million voters, including expatriates, are casting ballots for 7,195 candidates. Jessica Gray, Reuters

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Syrians vote in parliamentary poll

Monday, May 07, 2012 - 01:28