US, Europeans warn Syria vote neither 'free nor fair'

·1-min read
People walk by election campaign billboards depicting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

The United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy denounced Syria's upcoming presidential election on Tuesday, saying it would be neither "free nor fair."

"We, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America wish to make clear that Syria's May 26 presidential election will neither be free nor fair," they said in a joint statement.

"We denounce the Assad regime's decision to hold an election outside of the framework described in UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and we support the voices of all Syrians, including civil society organisations and the Syrian opposition, who have condemned the electoral process as illegitimate."

The United States and the four European nations said free and fair elections should be convened under UN supervision and "all Syrians should be allowed to participate."

"Without these elements, this fraudulent election does not represent any progress towards a political settlement." they said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faces an election on Wednesday that is all but certain to deliver a fourth term for a leader already in power for 21 years.

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