Assad to Seek Third Term as President

    Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma visit a group of young athletes of special needs gathered at a hotel in Damascus late on September 5, 2010, ahead of the opening of the annual Middle East and North Africa Special Needs Olympics later this month. Participants from 23 countries, including Iran, will take part in the one-week tournament first launched in 1993 as of September 25, 2010.   AFP PHOTO/ LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty

    Bashar al-Assad will seek a third presidential term when Syria holds its election on June 3. Assad did not wait for an outside endorsement, taking matters into his own hands with a letter read by Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Laham. "I... Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad... wish to nominate myself for the post of president of the republic." The election is largely seen as a sham of democracy by Assad's Western and Arab critics, who believe it is a corrupt way to extend his family's four decades in power. The announcement also comes a day after Assad's regime missed its second deadline for surrendering chemical weapons.

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