The elections that took place in Syria on May 26 met none of the criteria of “a genuinely democratic vote”, the European Union’s High Representative, Josep Borrell, said on Thursday.
The official said that the elections did not contribute to the settlement of the conflict that erupted after the Arab Spring in 2011.
“Elections in Syria should take place only within the framework of a genuine political process, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” the statement from Borrell said.
The elections can only be credible, he added, if all Syrians, including IDPs, refugees, and members of the diaspora are able to participate in a safe and neutral environment without the threat of intimidation and in free and fair political competition.
He stated that the EU felt the elections undermined efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict.
“It cannot lead to any measure of international normalization with the Syrian regime. The political process must be fully inclusive to ensure that all segments of Syria’s society are involved in shaping the country’s future unity and reconciliation,” the statement read.
The EU said it is ready to support “free and fair elections in Syria” in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and under the supervision of the UN, to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate.
The EU also demanded the release of detainees and reiterated its support to the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, to advance all aspects of this Resolution.
The 2021 elections are the second to take place since the Syrian Civil War erupted and have been regarded by the Syrian opposition and Western actors as a way to legitimize Bashar Al-Assad’s presidency.