Syrians in Opposition-Held Damascus Suburb Boycott Syrian Election


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May 31, 2014
al-Hajar al-Aswad, Damascus, Syria

Residents in the southern Damascus suburb of al-hajar al-Aswad give their opinion on the Syrian Presidential Election. Many of them voice disdain at the electoral process and declare their intention to boycott the election.

Samer, FSA fighter:
"What elections! There are elections in Syria? We haven’t heard of any elections? Do we even have electricity to hear about elections? Explosions, barrel bombs, firing and shooting, that’s the area of al-Hajar al-Aswad, no food, nothing. We need two hours to get a bit of water and you are asking me about elections."

Abu Hussein, Citizen:
"Unethical, Illegal elections do not relate to any Syrian citizen. The killing that happened here in Syria is not acceptable to anybody and we are against the elections in every way possible. Any person who votes is considered an enemy of religion and humanity in honor of the lives that were taken here in Syria and the properties that were destroyed over the heads of their owners."

Abu Arab, FSA commander:
"The elections are a big failure. The Syrian regime represented by Bashar al-Assad is illegitimate, and has been illegitimate for over 40-50 years, not only now. We don't want elections, we want Bashar’s head."

Abu Mohamad, Citizen:
"I will not vote for anybody, ever."

Interviewer: Why won’t you vote?

Abu Mohamad:
"My children are all dead, who would I vote for and why."

Ammar Issa, Surgeon:
"What elections are you talking about with the barrel bombs dropping everyday, the hunger that we have been suffering from for over a year and a half, the million and a half refugees, and the nine million internally displaced Syrians? What elections are you talking about?"

Saddam al-Zir, FSA fighter:
"Through all of this fear and all that is happening he [Bashar al-Assad] is sieging people, starving them, and dropping barrel bombs. He is forcing people to vote for him, but elections don’t happen that way, the country has to be in complete peace for elections to happen in a legitimate way."

Jassem, Citizen:
"This election is an historic scandal. How will it happen when 90% of Syrian territory is out of the regime’s control? There are ten million refugees and six million internal refugees, what elections are they talking about?"

Wael, Citizen:
"It is weird that while they say there are elections going on, we are still getting barrel bombs dropped on us. We are still suffering from shelling and bombing, how can there be elections in a country that lacks safety, security, and justice and where thugs attack the weak? If any elections are happening it is a lie, a big lie. Many people are now refugees and many men are imprisoned, but no matter what, Bashar will be taken down. Even if he wins these elections, he will be taken down."

Ahmed, FSA fighter:
He [Bashar al-Assad] will definitely win this election, but we do not acknowledge him or his government."

Khaled, Citizen:
"This election is a lie. All we have is barrel bombs dropped on us, raped women in prisons, blood and killing. We don’t acknowledge him [Bashar al-Assad] or his government."