By Svetlana Andreyeva
The pro-presidential National Unity alliance has won Syria’s parliamentary elections, taking 183 mandates out of 250. Opposition representatives got less than one third of the votes.
According to international experts, the Syrian elections demonstrated that most Syrians support President Bashar al-Assad and his reforms. As for the opposition, it can do nothing but protest against the results without giving any strong arguments. The reforms initiated by the president have been going on. The Constitution has been changed. Municipal and parliamentary elections have been held. Moreover, in an interview broadcast by Rossiya 24 Television Channel President Assad pledged to start a direct dialogue and discuss every single law and even the Constitution with all political groups that are represented in parliament. The outcome of parliamentary elections in Syria is important for both Syria and the West, Russian analyst Gumer Isayev says.
“Western nations speak about a lack of democracy in Syria and confrontation between the government and the opposition. Now it seems that the Syrian authorities have implemented some of the requirements put forward by the society and the West. Hopefully, opposition forces and armed groups fighting against the Syrian government won’t classify these moves as a weakness which they could use to pursue their own purposes.”
There has been no response so far from either the United States, or opposition representatives in Syria. Some refuse to acknowledge the election results, some are dissatisfied with them, Russian expert Alexei Podtserob says.
“Whatever measures President Assad or his Baath Party take, opposition groups declare them insufficient, untimely or overdue. Like a refrain, they keep repeating over and over that Bashar al-Assad must go. Now that the election results have been announced, the legitimacy of the current regime is bound to be recognized, by both the Syrian people and other Arab nations. As for terrorism, it has no relation to elections. Terrorists believe that all disputes should be settled by force.”
President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview recently that terrorists spit on reforms. Reforms, or no reforms, they fight for the sake of terror, he said.
As for the opposition, it is split. The session of the Syrian National Council in Rome which was called to overcome the split, ended without results.
The conference of Syrian opposition leaders in Cairo was cancelled. Gumer Isayev says that this absence of accord within the Syrian opposition could affect the overall situation in the country.
“This absence of unity should reduce tension and contribute to stabilization in the country. However, there many other factors, including foreign ones, that destabilize the situation.”
Washington Post said after the publication of the election results in Syria that the United States would continue to supply Syrian opposition groups with weapons.
The implementation of a peace plan for Syria which was proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is now under threat as a number of groups in Syria try to stir violence. A statement to this effect was made by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. Lukashevich believes that opposition forces and those behind them are not going to fulfill the peace plan.