Syrian cabinet approves draft law on general elections

Arab World Materials 27 July 2011 05:31 (UTC +04:00)

The Syrian cabinet approved late Tuesday the final draft of a general elections law, the Syrian news agency SANA reported.

"The law aims at regulating parliamentary and local council elections and ensuring the safety of the electoral process and the right of candidates to supervise the process," SANA said.

An independent committee will supervise the elections and will comprise five judges.

The move came as part of the political reform programme that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has promised to implement in the country amid ongoing protests against his regime, the Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported.

On Sunday, the government adopted a law to establish new political parties in country, other than the ruling Baath party, which for years has controlled the political life in the country.

But Syrian activists rejected that move as an insufficient effort by an uncredible regime. "Any laws issued by this government will not be accepted," said Rami Abdel-Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Assad's regime has been carrying out a harsh crackdown against the protesters, killing according to human rights groups more than 1,480 civilians, while arresting more than 15,000.

Assad promised in June that his cabinet was preparing a range of political reforms, in a move aimed at appeasing the five-month-old uprising against his autocratic rule.