Syria to hold parliamentary polls in regime-held areas

As the Syria conflict enters its sixth year, the Bashar al-Assad regime has announced its intention to hold parliamentary polls on April 13 in regime-controlled parts of the country.

One of the candidates who will vie for a seat in the 250-seat assembly is Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad, according to Damascus-based sources who preferred anonymity.

On the same day as the planned election, a fresh round of peace talks is slated to begin in Geneva between representatives of the Syrian regime and moderate opposition groups.

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Speaking to reporters at the UN’s Geneva office last Thursday, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the next round of talks should “lead to the beginning of genuine political transition”.