Syria kicks off presidential election

Updated: 2014-06-03 13:38


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Syria kicks off presidential election

A woman walks past election posters of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad along a street in Damascus June 2, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

DAMASCUS - Syria on Tuesday kicks off its presidential election, in which eligible voters will cast their ballots for the country's three presidential candidates, including incumbent President Bashar al-Assad.

Polling stations opened at 7 am (0400 GMT) in parts of Syria under Assad's government control.

Syria's Interior Ministry said that more than 15 million registered voters will cast their ballots at 9,610 polling stations across Syria, where the government has reportedly set up ballot boxes in shelters to allow thousands of displaced Syrian to participate in the voting.

The vote is taking place despite the rejection of the opposition and their Western backers, which dismissed the election as a "farce."

The election is taking place more than three years after protests first broke out in Syria, calling for reform after four decades of Assad family rule. Authorities responded with force and the uprising descended into civil war.