Lawmakers Oppose UN Call for Early Elections in Syria

Lawmakers Oppose UN Call for  Early Elections in SyriaLawmakers Oppose UN Call for  Early Elections in Syria

Iranian lawmakers voiced objection to the idea suggested by the United Nations Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to hold elections in Syria within a year after the likely defeat of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in October, saying such statements demonstrate that the western countries have reached the conclusion that their plans for Syria have failed.

In a recent talk with ICANA, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said "the demands of the West raised in negotiations have been unrealistic", adding that the Syrian presidential elections will be held after the legal end of President Bashar al-Assad's tenure.

The parliamentarian was referring to the western demand that Assad stand down at the start of any peace process.

Hosseini said the Syrian people are the only ones to decide their country's future and Assad is entitled to run Syria until the end of his term.

De Mistura said on Friday that remaining IS strongholds in Syria are likely to fall by the end of October, which must be the trigger for the international community to push for free and fair elections.

"After Raqqa and Deir al-Zor, and that is a matter of a few months, there will be a moment of truth. If the international community will be helping both the opposition and the government by pushing the government to accept a real negotiation, then within a year it would be a possibility of having a truly credible election," he said.

Hosseini said such remarks indicate that "the US and its allies who created Daesh to control Syria are now witnessing its demise".

Daesh is the Arabic acronym for IS.

  Habit of Imposition

Lawmaker Shahrouz Barzegar said the western countries cannot realize their wishes in the name of UN for the Syrian people.

"For the western countries, a real negotiation means one that they can impose their stances. The UN must not forget that IS started its activities with the support of the US and Israel in the region," he said.

In an apparent jab to de Mistura's remark on holding "free and fair elections" in Syria, Barzegar said, "If the UN is really after holding such elections in the region, they would do better to push for a free and fair elections in Palestine rather than making projections for Syria."

The new call for early elections in Syria comes after the western countries dropped their longstanding demand that Assad should not have any role in Syria's future. Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, hinted at the policy shift in an interview with the Times.

"There was no longer any point in holding up talks over Syria's future by sticking to the position that he [Assad] has to go before negotiations could begin," he said.

"We used to say he has to go as a precondition. Now we are saying that he should go but as part of a transition. It is always open to him to stand in a democratic election."

Barzegar said Assad is the legitimate elected leader of the Syrian people who should have the final say, irrespective of the fact that they would like to hold early elections or not.


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