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According to political analysts, Bashar Al Asad, who has been in power since the death of his father in 2000, is expected to be re-elected as president.
On Wednesday, over 18 million Syrians are eligible to vote in an election in which the three candidates contesting the presidency are incumbent President Bashar al-Assad, former Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Abdullah Salloum Abdullah, and opposition leader Mahmoud Marai.
"12,102 polling stations have been set up... the number of citizens eligible to vote inside and outside the country is 18,107,109 people," the Interior Minister Mohamad al Rahmoun said and explained that this figure includes voters in some areas of the country that have not been permanently controlled by the Syrian government since the internal armed conflict broke out in 2011.
The current elections, however, do not include the self-proclaimed autonomous region of northeastern Syria that is governed by the Kurds. Nor will the population of the northwest of the country that remains under the control of the Levant Liberation Organization and other armed groups participate.
"Before voting starts, the polling station committee opens the ballot boxes for committee members and candidate representatives to make sure they are empty. They are then closed and cannot be opened until the counting begins," explained Heba Seif al-Din, a member of the Supreme Judicial Committee for Elections.
After presenting their ID card or military document, voters will receive an envelope signed and sealed by the head of the polling station committee, after which they can access a private room to deposit their ballot.
On this Tuesday the candidates will not be able to carry out any proselytizing activity since it is a day of reflection and silence before the elections. According to political analysts, Al Asad, who has been in power since the death of his father in 2000, is expected to be re-elected as president.
He swept 88.7 percent of the vote in the 2014 elections when for the first time in half a century more than one candidate contested the presidency. This happened thanks to an amendment to the Constitution made in the wake of protests that began in 2011.