Syria's two-and-a-half million voters had their first chance to vote in a general election for II years on Friday (May 25).
GVs & CUs Election banners in streets of Damascus (5 shots)
STV Posters on car
GV & SCU INT Minister on telephone (2 shots)
GV & SVs Women voting (4 shots)
GV & SVs Men voting (5 shots)
Initials BB/0350 TH/DW/BB/0358
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Background: Syria's two-and-a-half million voters had their first chance to vote in a general election for II years on Friday (May 25). But because the turnout at polling stations had been lower than expected, the authorities ordered them to stay open for a further seven hours today (Saturday).
The election was to choose 186 members for the new People's Council for a four year term. A total of 914 candidates contested the seats.
Interior Minister Ali Zaza had issued instructions to the security forces to facilitate the elections, and there were no reports of any disorders.
SYNOPSIS: Election fervour in Syria -- where two-and-a-half million voters on Friday had the chance to participate int he first general election for eleven years. The last elected Parliament in 1962 was toppled by the military coup which brought the Arab Baath Socialist Party to power.
Interior Minister Ali Zaza had issued instructions to the security forces to do everything to guarantee a secret election, and there were no reports of disorders during two days of polling.
Voters had a choice of nine-hundred candidates contesting a hundred and eighty-six seats on the new People's Council. The first woman to win a seat in the Syrian Parliament was returned unopposed.
Half the seats on the People's Council have been allocated to candidates drawn from the workers and peasants. The other half are allocated to candidates from other sections of the Syrian society. Because the turnout was not as great as expected, polling continued on Saturday.