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Syria prepares for elections

(Xinhua)

15:32, May 01, 2012

BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhuanet) -- For the first time in 40 years, seats in the Syrian parliament will be up for grabs by multiple parties in the country’s much-postponed elections, now scheduled for May the 7th.

Previously, only parties that belonged to the National Progressive Front were allowed to stand for election. More than 7,000 candidates from more than eight parties will be competing for 250 seats in parliament.

Streets in Syria are decked with candidates’ election campaign banners and posters, with most of the slogans emphasizing national unity, greater youth participation and peaceful change. Many Syrians believe the upcoming elections can bring vitality to the country and pave the way for reforms.

They also hope new parliamentarians will be more responsive to people’s needs. Others say they’ll go to the polls to show support for strengthening the country.

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