Syrian elections mocked with grim hashtag #AssadCampaignSlogans

April 22, 2014

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 21, 2014 shows Syrians holding their national flags and a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad during a rally to show him their support in Damascus' Halboon neighborhood. AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA

On Monday, the Syrian government made it official: Presidential elections will take place on June 3, despite the civil war that has been devastating the country for the past three years.

The news didn't take many by surprise. President Bashar al-Assad's term in office is almost over, and it appears he's already began campaigning. Many don't expect any surprises from the election either, with the opposition calling the election farcical and White House spokesman Jay Carney saying Assad was “making a mockery of his own pretensions to be a democratically elected leader.”

For journalists, activists, and observers of the Syrian war (many of whom can remember Assad getting 97 percent in a 2007 election), it's a grim yet ridiculous moment. Over the past few days the hashtag #AssadCampaignSlogans has sprung up, that taking a macabre look at an election that will be held after over 100,000 have died, with little real alternative to Assad's Ba'ath Party, and while accusations of state use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons still resonate.

And another tweet from last week that takes aim at the lack of choice for voters:

For many more, check Twitter.

Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.
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