Syrian Flags Fly in Beirut as Expats Cast Early Votes in Presidential Election

Syrian expatriates began casting their votes at foreign embassies on Thursday, May 20, in a presidential election observers say is all-but guaranteed to return the incumbent, Bashar al-Assad.

In 2014, Assad secured 88.7 percent of the vote. In this election, he is running against Abdullah Salloum Abdullah and Mahmoud Ahmad Marie.

The United States said it would refuse to accept any result, unless the election was free and fair, and supervised by the UN. However, the UN has said, “The election has been called under the auspices of the current Constitution & is not part of the political process established by SC resolution 2254.”

Security council resolution 2254 calls for a new Syrian constitution and free elections.

Video here shows buses en route to the Syrian Embassy, in Yarze, just outside Beirut.

Soldiers were standing guard at the embassy, the AP said, as Syrians waited to vote, some chanting pro-Assad slogans, some holding his picture. Credit: Matthieu Karam via Storyful