WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement ahead of Syria’s presidential election on May 26:
“On May 26, Syria will hold yet another illegitimate presidential election that will almost certainly extend dictator Bashar al Assad’s rule for a fourth seven-year term.
“I am troubled by a number of reports of voter harassment and intimidation that have emerged in the lead up to this election. Worse, this election is occurring outside the framework and supervision directed under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.
“The Syrian people deserve to have their voices heard, and I remain deeply skeptical that this election will reflect the will of the Syrian people. Any election should include the participation of all Syrians, including the opposition, internally displaced people, and refugees.
“The political path forward must include a meaningful ceasefire, continued work on the constitutional committee, and a commitment to free and fair elections under U.N. auspices. The Syrian people deserve better than the Assad regime’s continued bloodshed.”