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Assad challenger says security improving ahead of election

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 01:46

May 17 - Syrian presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri says the situation on the ground is improving for holding election, while admitting his chances are slim against Bashar al-Assad. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Hassan al Nouri wants to be Syria's next president and he's getting his message out in new campaign aids. He's one of two challengers to President Bashar al-Assad, but tells Reuters all contenders have common goals. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HASSAN AL-NOURI, CANDIDATE IN SYRIA'S UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, SAYING: "We are all against terrorism, we are all searching to unify our sand, to unify our people." The June vote comes as a time of raging violence. This amateur video which can not be independently verified by Reuters shows fighting on the streets of rural Damascus. But Nouri says things are getting better. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HASSAN AL-NOURI, CANDIDATE IN SYRIA'S UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, SAYING: "In the suburb of Damascus the situation is getting better; in the middle of the country the situation is perfect for election." He acknowledges that his chances of winning are slim. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HASSAN AL-NOURI, CANDIDATE IN SYRIA'S UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, SAYING: "The problem - you are competing Bashar al-Assad - 14 years a president and coming from a heritage of a great president for Syria, his name Hafez al-Assad who stayed 30 years in Syria, so we are talking that I am competing with 44 years of strong policy." Syria's June 3 vote marks the first time in half a century that the ballot will include any name other than Assad. Assad's foes say no credible vote can be held in a country fractured by a war that has killed more than 150,000 people.

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Assad challenger says security improving ahead of election

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 01:46