According to state media, Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court had accepted three out of 51 presidential candidacy applications for this month’s presidential elections in the war-torn country.
A total of 51 candidates, seven of whom were women, had applied to be candidates. The names were later referred to the Constitutional Court by the Parliament.
President Bashar Assad is almost certain to win the largely symbolic election, who was chosen to run alongside two other men, Abdullah Salloum Abdullah and Mahmoud Ahmad Marie.
On May 26, Syria will hold its second presidential election since the civil war began in 2011. On May 20, Syrians living abroad will vote.
The Supreme Constitutional Court’s President, Mohamad Jihad Lahham, stated that the court accepted three candidates and rejected the others because they did not meet the constitutional and legal requirements.
Lahham stated that those whose candidacies were rejected have three days to file an appeal with the Court.
In the 2014 elections, Syria allowed for multi-candidate voting for the first time. Assad received nearly 90 percent of the vote and is widely expected to win a fourth seven-year term.
He has been in power since 2000, when he succeeded his father, who had ruled the country for 30 years. Competition with Assad was symbolic, and it was viewed as a sham by the opposition and Western countries.
According to the UN resolution for a political resolution of the conflict in Syria, a new constitution is supposed to be drafted and approved in a public referendum before UN-monitored presidential elections are to take place.
However, little progress has been made in the drafting committee, and Assad retains the support of Russia and Iran.
Syria has been at war since 2011, when Arab Spring-inspired protests against the Assad family’s rule devolved into an armed insurgency in response to a brutal military crackdown.