Elections in Syria: Analysis and Recommendations for Reform

A Syrian national living in Lebanon shows his marked ballot under a portrait of Syrian president Bashar Assad for his country's presidential election at the Syrian Embassy in Yarze, May 20, 2021.

Caption

A Syrian national living in Lebanon shows his marked ballot under a portrait of Syrian president Bashar Assad for his country's presidential election at the Syrian Embassy in Yarze, May 20, 2021. © AP Photo/Hussein Malla

The decade-long conflict in Syria is not a conducive environment for credible elections. Irrespective of the conditions, however, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) assessment of the Syrian legal framework, electoral administration and operations illustrates the ways in which the 2020 legislative election and the 2021 presidential election – including diaspora voting – fell short of meeting multiple international standards.

The focus of these assessments was not to highlight the political dynamics of the elections, but to address the procedural side of the election process and produce a set of recommendations for electoral reforms at the constitutional, legislative, administrative and operational levels. IFES’ assessments were guided by international electoral standards set in treaties and conventions that the Syrian Arab Republic has accepted as obligations or commitments. These assessments also took into consideration the need for a post-conflict, reconciliatory and inclusive political electoral process, as called for in UN Security Resolution 2254.

The reports include assessment and recommendations for reform pertaining to:

  • Legal framework
  • Electoral system (system of representation)
  • Electoral administration
  • Voter eligibility and registration
  • Eligibility of candidates and candidacy process
  • Political organizing, competition and campaigning
  • Broadcast and social media
  • Challenges to participation of internally displaced persons
  • Set-up of embassies and arrangements of host countries for voting abroad
  • Polling and counting process in Syria and abroad
  • Transparency of results
  • Dispute resolution process

English versions:

IFES Syrian Assessment of the 2021 Presidential Election

IFES Assessment of Syrian Diaspora Voting in the 2021 Presidential Election

Arabic versions:

IFES Syrian Assessment of the 2021 Presidential Election

IFES Assessment of Syrian Diaspora Voting in the 2021 Presidential Election

Published on January 12, 2022.

Subscribe to Our Mailing List


Optional Member Code