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Syria regime fears diaspora vote could tip the balance

A man in Damascus reads the Syrian al-Thawra (The Revolution) newspaper displaying a picture of President Bashar al-Assad with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the former's visit to MoscowAn international bid to ensure Syrians abroad are allowed to vote in potential future elections is being seen by the regime in Damascus as an attempt to ensure it loses. At issue is a clause in the final communique produced by international talks in Vienna last week that included 17 countries — among them key regime backers Russia and Iran. “Countries hostile to Syria prevented Syrians from voting in their embassies during the 2014 (presidential) elections,” said Wadah Abed Rabbo, editor-in-chief of Syria’s Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the regime.

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