Skip to comments.Syrians march to support president
Posted on 05/24/2007 12:37:58 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
DAMASCUS, Syria - Hundreds of thousands of Syrians thronged the capital Thursday to support a second seven-year term for President Bashar Assad.
The rally came ahead of a referendum Sunday when voters are expected to approve a second mandate for Assad, who succeeded his father, Hafez Assad, in 2000 at the helm of Syria's autocratic regime. There are no other candidates.
The demonstration was headed by a number of Syrian officials and ministers.
It was one of several rallies held across the country since parliament, dominated by the ruling Baath Party, unanimously nominated 41-year-old Assad for a second term.
Celebrations have been held throughout the country and are expected to continue until after the referendum. Thursday's demonstration was deemed to be the largest of the ongoing campaign.
Streets in Damascus are lined with posters of Assad and of a large fingerprint as a show of support for the president: In the previous referendum, many Syrians had dipped their thumbs in their own blood or in ink to stamp the referendum bulletin in his favor.
A new song released for the referendum under the title "We love you" blares from speakers of cars and shops.
"I will elect Assad, because he is the best," said Sharif Kawkabi, 25, a driver. "Had there been hundreds of candidates for presidency, I would still choose him."
Bashar raised hopes among Syrians when he came to power, leading a campaign to modernize the country with several economic reforms and freeing hundreds of political prisoners.
But the president has since clamped down on pro-democracy activists, showing the limits of his reforms and attracting harsh criticism from human rights groups.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians throng the main square in Damascus, Thursday, May 24, 2007, chanting their support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is about to start his second seven-year term. The rally is one of several that have been held across Syria since the people's 250-seat parliament unanimously nominated Assad for a new second term. Syria will go Sunday, May 27, to the polling stations in a national referendum, endorsing the re-election of the 42-year-old Assad, who is the sole candidate and whose victory is a foregone conclusion. Assad's pictures hang from the buildings around the square. (AP Photo Bassem Tellawi)
Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad, carrying pictures of Assad chants their support for him during a rally in the main square in Damascus, Thursday, May 24, 2007. The rally is one of several that have been held across Syria since the people's 250-seat parliament unanimously nominated Assad for a new second term. Syria will go Sunday, May 27, to the polling stations in a national referendum, endorsing the re-election of the 42-year-old Assad, who is the sole candidate and whose victory is a foregone conclusion. (AP Photo Bassem Tellawi)
Syria's Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa speaks Wednesday, May, 23, 2007 during a lecture at Damascus University. Al-Sharaa discussed regional issues, including Lebanon, Iraq and the international tribunal on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)
Note to AP: You may be able to publish this swill with a straight face, but I can’t read it with one.
A billboard carrying the picture of slain Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri stands in downtown Beirut, 2006. The United States expressed support for Lebanon's government Tuesday and warned Syria against any efforts to block an international trial over the murder of ex-Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.(AFP/File/Ramzi Haidar)
All other potential candidates cite health concerns as the main reason for not challenging Assad.
syrians march to either A. support killing jews and infidels or B. so they aren’t imprisoned or shot by their president.
Why even bother with an election? Such a charade.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians throng the main square in Damascus proudly demonstrating their permanent brown noses to a regime run by a pencil-necked thug who considers anyone without a brown nose (except him of course) a candidate for hanging.
The man looks like he’s missing something upstairs. If he is truly in charge of Syria, he’s one of the most evil people living today.
He’s “a grit eating, scum sucking, pencil necked geek..”
You are right with the latter one.
I just finished reading Richard H. Evans’ “The Third Reich in Power”. Generally, I feel that Hitler and Nazi comparisons are inappropriate and overused in current times, however the fit here an in Iran is just too good to ignore the similarities.
There is no candidate except Bashar, and yet he feels the need to order thousands of Baathists to take to the streets en masse to pledge support ?
Either there is some powerplay inside the Syrian government, between Bashar and his late father’s old guard, or they think Bashar might accomplish the quite remarkable feat of running unopposed and yet being defeated.
That reminds me of a joke an Algerian friend told me about the then-President Chadli, who was not renowned for his sharp mind : “Chadli entered a contest to win a sports car, he was the only contestant, and too bad he ended up in the second place !”