Joe Iosbaker of the Anti-War Committee – Chicago was invited to Syria to observe their presidential elections held on June 3rd. He was part of a team of from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland, which in turn joined a larger delegation of representatives of governments, including Bolivia, Brazil, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Uganda.
Two years ago, voters amended the constitution to allow other parties to stand for election for president. For 40 years, the ruling Baath Party was constitutionally the only party that could lead the country. This election saw three candidates for the office.
The election was condemned in advance by the U.S. government, which has funded an armed rebellion dominated by armies affiliated with Al Qaeda, and directed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The war has resulted in as many as 160,000 deaths.
In this report back, Joe will speak about election procedures, voter participation, the other parties, and the impact this vote will have on the war.