27 May, 2007

Referendum Day

Asma al-Assad, wife of
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad casts her vote.
(photo from Middle East Online)

Technically, it's probably over by now, but today was the day for the national referendum on President Bashar Al-Assad. Opposition has called for a boycott. I don't want to spoil the ending, but I suspect they'll not need to change the signs at the border and airport welcoming you to "Assad's Syria". Just a guess. The parliament is to announce the results on Monday. There are plenty who can speak to it better than I and I look forward to reading their responses over the next few days.

Meanwhile in Lebanon, all but forgotten in the US news cycle except for the mention of hastily proffered US military aid, the situation remains critical in Nahr al-Bared. The Lebanese Army is supposedly refusing to allow aid into the camp and there is an action being organized for tomorrow outside the camp by relief workers trying to get aid to residents remaining inside. Also, be sure to read the latest from Electronic Intifada and Palestine for Us. Remember, just because it doesn't make the news doesn't mean it's over.


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