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Parliamentary Elections Under Way In Syria, As Opposition Calls For Boycott


Syrians have been casting ballots in parliamentary elections amid reports of continued violence in the country.

The poll on May 7, hailed by the government of President Bashar al-Assad as the first multiparty elections in over 50 years, are part of a compromise political-reform process launched in response to the anti-Assad uprising that began in March 2011.

The United Nations estimates that more than 9,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the 14-month-old Syrian uprising.

The vote was originally scheduled for September 2011.

Seven newly created parties are fielding candidates for 250 parliamentary mandates.

The opposition has called the elections "a sham" and urged a boycott.

On May 7, UN chief Ban Ki-moon slammed the Syrian government for holding a national election while violence is still raging.

The United Nations estimates that more than 9,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the 14-month-old Syrian uprising.

Meanwhile, reports say seven civilians were killed by regime forces across Syria on May 7.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP and AP
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