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Syrians vote in Kurdish-led regions of north

It starts a three-phase process to set up new governing institutions that aim to shore up regional autonomy

Gulf News

QAMISHLI, Syria: Syrians voted on Friday in an election organised by the Kurdish-led authorities of northern Syria, the start of a three-phase process to set up new governing institutions that aim to shore up regional autonomy.

“Today comes as a historical day for us. The people are choosing their way of life, politics, economy,” said Renas Ahmed, 25, among several dozen people casting their vote for the local community representatives being elected.

Voters were picking leaders for some 3,700 “communes” spread across three regions of the north where Kurdish groups have established autonomous rule since 2011, when the Syria’s civil war erupted.

Friday’s election will be followed in November by elections to local councils and culminate in January with the election of an assembly that will act as a parliament for a federal system of government in northern Syria.

The election points to the ambitions of Kurdish groups and their allies that control close to a quarter of Syria.

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