Syrians Have Decided Assad Should Run in Elections: Minister
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Syria's Information Minister said on Tuesday the Syrian people have decided President Bashar al-Assad should be nominated for another term and would pressure him to stand in elections this year.
The comments were the strongest indication yet that Assad intends to extend his rule and are sure to anger opposition politicians and fighters who have been waging a nearly three-year struggle to end his rule.
Assad's status in any future political order in Syria has been a stumbling block to bringing both sides to a peace conference scheduled to be held in Geneva on January 22, Reuters reported.
In a televised press conference, Information Minister Omran Zoabi said Assad's decision was personal and had not been announced yet, but that the "Syrian street" wanted him to run.
"I can assure you that there is a popular Syrian decision to nominate President Bashar al-Assad for the presidency of the republic," he said.
"It is his personal decision, which concerns him personally, but I also assure you that the Syrian street will pressure President Bashar al-Assad to nominate himself for the presidency of the republic."