Syria to kick off presidential campaign on Sunday
Damascus: The campaign for Syria`s presidential elections will officially kick off May 11, the supreme constitutional court said Saturday.
The court notified the final three candidates for the elections to run their campaigns from May 11 to June 2, a day ahead of the June 3 vote, Xinhua reported Saturday.
Majed Khadra, the court`s spokesman, said the court had reviewed petitions filed by contenders who have been declared ineligible for candidacy last week, adding that the court`s decision has not changed.
He said that only three out of the 24 aspirants were in the running - Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri and incumbent Bashar al-Assad.
Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, a parliamentarian, was the first to submit application for the elections.
Hajjar was born in Aleppo in 1968, hailing from a family well-known in religious teaching, Xinhua cited state news agency SANA Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri, 54, declared his candidacy a day after Hajjar.
Al-Nouri served as the minister of administrative development and minister of state for parliamentary affairs from 2000 to 2002. He also served as the general secretary of the Chamber of Industry from 1997 to 2000, and was a member of Syrian Parliament from 1998 to 2003.
Assad was the seventh to register his candidacy.
He was unanimously nominated by the Syrian parliament as president in 2000, following the death of his father, former president Hafez Assad. He was re-elected without opposition in 2007.
The timing of the presidential polls has raised the ire of the Syrian opposition and their regional and international backers, who have labelled the upcoming poll a "parody of democracy".
Government officials said Assad is the "real guarantee" for the future of Syria, hinting that despite a barrage of criticism, Assad has a high chance to be re-elected for a third seven-year term.
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