June 1, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5756

The Upcoming Syrian Elections As Depicted In Cartoons In Anti-Assad Press

June 1, 2014
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 5756

On April 20, 2014, the Syrian regime announced that presidential elections would be held on June 3, 2014 inside Syria and on May 28, 2014 among Syrian citizens resident abroad.[1] Two weeks later, it was announced that, in addition to incumbent president Bashar Al-Assad, two others would contend: Maher Hajjar, an independent MP from the Aleppo area, and former MP and administrative development minister Hassan Al-Nouri. [2]

Regime supporters back the decision to hold elections, saying they will restore security and stability to Syria and that they prove the regime is victorious. In contrast, regime opponents in Syria and abroad argue that the elections are illegitimate, since they are intended to obviate dialogue on an agreed-upon solution to the crisis and impose Assad's continued rule.

The regime opponents' view of the elections is reflected in cartoons published in the Syrian opposition papers and in the press of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, which are known for their opposition to the Syrian regime. Some of the cartoons convey that Assad's two rivals are puppets, and that he is effectively the sole candidate and will be elected through force and violence. Others lambaste him for daring to submit his candidacy after butchering his own people. There are also cartoons criticizing Iran and Russia, the main supporters of the regime's decision to hold the elections.

The following is a sampling of cartoons:

Assad Is The Only Candidate; His Rivals Are Virtual Candidates

Assad (top): "elect me"; the other candidates: "elect him" (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, April 29, 2014)



The Syrian elections: All the posters are of Assad (, May 19, 2014)




"The new candidates for president of the Syrian Arab Republic": Assad in various guises (, May 6, 2014)




In other countries, the people choose the president; in Syria, the president chooses his people (Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, Qatar, May 19, 2014)




The presidency is already in Assad's pocket (Al-Watan, Bahrain, April 29, 2014)




The Elections Were Preceded By Mass Murder; Assad A Criminal Unworthy Of Leadership


"The murderer is president", "Assad submits bloodstained candidacy documents" (Image:, May 29, 2014)




A "follower of Assad's" treads "the road to the elections", paved with the Syrian people's skulls ('Okaz, Saudi Arabia, May 14, 2014)




"Assad submits his candidacy" (Al-Medina, Saudi Arabia, May 13, 2014)




The road to the presidency paved with guns and Assad's victims (Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, May 11, 2014)




Assad holds elections over the corpses of the Syrian people (Al-Watan, Qatar, May 3, 2014)




Assad: I've decided to run for president. What do you think? ('Okaz, Saudi Arabia, May 27, 2014)




Criticism Of Russia, Iran


The elections in Syria – an Iranian concoction (Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, May 18, 2014)




"Together we will destroy Syria"­– a parody on Assad's campaign slogan, "together" (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 13, 2014)


Russia supports elections in Syria while calling Ukraine's elections a joke (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 7, 2014)




Assad holds up sign saying "elect me" as Iran and Russia disconnect a Syrian child from his blood supply (, May 11, 2014)












[1] Al-Watan (Syria), April 21, 2014.

[2] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), May 4, 2014; Al-Watan (Syria), April 23, 2014.

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