Coalition Government Possible in Syria After Elections – Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) — A coalition government with opposition members may be created in Syria after the presidential election, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Tuesday.

“There is an idea to create a coalition government to include representatives of the opposition after the election in Syria,” Bogdanov said.

He added that there was no information about a possible successor of the United Nations and the Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned last week. The question should be addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, he said, adding he hoped “he will ask for advice.”

The ongoing presidential vote in Syria on Tuesday is the first multiple-candidate presidential election, which comes amid the ongoing civil war. The conflict broke out in March 2011 and has since claimed more than 130,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

The current president, Bashar Assad, has been in power since 2000 and is largely predicted to win the third seven-year term, while the remaining two — Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar and Hassan Abdullah Nouri — were picked by the parliament and presented to the public earlier in spring.

Armed opposition groups linked to al-Qaeda have called for the ouster of President Bashar Assad.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned the rise of terrorism in Syria and has urged the international community to take steps toward the peaceful settlement of the conflict, including holding democratic presidential elections.

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