SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC
Parliamentary Chamber: Majlis Al-Chaab

ELECTIONS HELD IN 2003

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Chamber:
  Majlis Al-Chaab


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  2 March 2003


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 2 and 3 March 2003 Syrians voted to elect the first People's Assembly since President Bashar al-Assad succeeded his late father President Hafez al-Assad in 2000.

According to official records, some 5,000 candidates competed for the 250 seats in Parliament. However, the election was boycotted by five new opposition groups which claimed it was undemocratic. Candidates campaigned for one month, from 26 January 2003, filling city streets with banners, pictures and tents.

Voter turnout was put at 63 per cent of the more than seven million registered voters, lower than the 82 per cent recorded in the previous elections in 1998.

Announcing the results, Interior Minister Ali Hamoud declared that candidates of the National Progressive Front had won 167 seats (the Front consists of the ruling Baath party and six smaller allies). The remaining 83 seats went to independents.

Out of the 250 members, 178 were newcomers and 30 women.

The new People's Assembly convened on 9 March 2003 and elected Mr. Mohammed Naji Otari as its Speaker.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (2 March 2003): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 7 181 206
Voters 4 556 475 (63 %)

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
National Progressive Front (NPF) 167
Independents 83

Comments:
  Baath Arab Socialist Party and Allied parties constitute the National Progressive Front.
Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 220
Women: 30
Percent of women: 12.00


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Copyright 2003 Inter-Parliamentary Union