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Preparation for parliamentarian elections underway in Syria (3)

(Xinhua)

09:48, May 03, 2012

The Popular Will Party has vowed, in a giant advertisement published in a local newspaper, to work to bolster national unity "to face all foreign conspiracies the country is currently subject to."

Yet, it's still unclear whether the same momentum will continue over the next few days preceding the date of voting, as some candidates have started feeling the heat of threats made by armed opposition figures.

Some worrying signals have already surfaced.

A major candidate, who has a widespread popularity among pro- government Syrians and who has been an outspoken proponent of the government, has, to the surprise of many Syrians, withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday apparently after receiving threats.

Taleb Ibrahim announced his decision on pro-government TV channels, without giving any logical reason.

However, sources close to him said gunmen have been tracking him down and gunshots were heard overnight near his house.

Another candidate was assassinated Tuesday by gunmen in the southern province of Daraa, Syria's official news agency SANA said, adding that the candidate for the National Unity list, Abdul-Hamid Hassan al-Taha, was gunned down at Basra square in the city, killing him instantly.

Another candidate, Mohammad Ismail al-Ahmed, was kidnapped last month in the northwestern town of Idlib.

The so-called "Brigades of Mohammed," who are reportedly affiliated with the so-called Free Syrian Army, have recently threatened to kill whoever might put himself as a candidate for the parliamentarian elections in Syria.

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