Cairo: A record 51 presidential hopefuls have applied to run in war-wracked Syria’s upcoming presidential election, which is likely to give President Bashar Al Assad a fourth seven-year term.
The vote, scheduled for May 26, will be Syria’s second since the eruption of a devastating war in the country in 2011.
The Supreme Constitutional Court referred to the parliament a total of 51 applications from people wishing to stand for presidency, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported after nominations closed Wednesday following a 10-day period.
The 51 include Al Assad, seven women and a Syrian Kurd.
According to the Syrian electoral law, each contender must secure the backing of at least 35 members of the parliament dominated by Al Assad’s Baath Party.
The Constitutional Court, which oversees the election, has five days to examine the nominees’ applications before releasing a final list, SANA added.
Syria held its first multi-candidate presidential election in 2014 in which Al Assad won nearly 90 per cent of the vote. Al Assad has governed Syria since 2000.
Syria is experiencing acute economic woes with some parts of the country are still outside the government’s control.