Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights states: “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
Today, Syria is experiencing exceptional circumstances that have never been witnessed before. This is a time when the machines of war kill dozens of victims every day of this bloody conflict; shelling and displacement is still the normal scene in most areas. No initiative has been able to stop the onslaught of this meaningless war, which will eventually propel all Syrians into an uncertain future capable of the worst possibilities. Instead of directing efforts toward an effective solution to this conflict, the regime has chosen to hold superficial elections in order to shut out opposing parties and solidify their power.
In light of this situation, and in accordance with our principles at the Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria, we are hereby presenting our position of the presidential elections in Syria. We believe the elections won’t contribute to a solution but rather, will create even more chaos and expand the social divide further. Holding elections in the midst of a war undermines all attempts to implement initiatives that could lead to a solution. This decision cannot be made solely by a political party that forces its will and continues to wage war and destruction upon the Syrian people. In order to support our position, in May of 2014 the Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria undertook a survey to determine the opinions of Syrian people regarding the upcoming presidential election. CCSDS worked through its nine satellite offices within Syria to disseminate the questionnaire to 9,940 people and held twelve discussion forums to get qualitative data to compliment and support the survey. Participants were asked to give their opinion on whether they would vote in the 2014 presidential election, if they felt the timing of the election was appropriate, if the elections could aid in finding a solution for the current crisis in Syria, and if a future election that was fair, free and inclusive would lead to stability.
All Syrians should be responsible for ending the conflict by finding a way to prevent division of the country and persistence of the war. This can be accomplished through resuming the negotiation process in order to reach a consensus that is suitable for the future of the country. Only then can we hold presidential elections as the start of a democratic transformation for Syria.
To read the result of the presidential election poll , please click on the following link : http://ccsdsyria.org/files/The Results of the Poll.pdf