Syrians Vote as Peace Talks to Restart

Syrians Vote as Peace Talks to RestartSyrians Vote as Peace Talks to Restart

Government-controlled parts of Syria are holding parliamentary elections on Wednesday, the same day UN-mediated peace talks convening warring parties restart in Geneva amid concern a fraying ceasefire could undermine efforts to end nearly five years of conflict, AFP reported.

The vote comes as the UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, aims to renew “proximity talks” among opposition groups and regime representatives to chart a political transition.

The UN dismissed the parliamentary elections, and last week de Mistura said he was more interested in elections the UN Security Council voted should be held in 18 months as part of a political transition.

Russia, on the other hand, called the elections necessary, insisting they would avoid a power vacuum.

“There is understanding already, that a new constitution should emerge as a result of this political process, on the basis of which new, early elections are to be held,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.