Syria\’s President Bashar al- Assad has registered his candidacy for the June 3 presidential race, the Syrian Parliament announced Monday.
Parliament speaker Jihad al-Lham announced Assad\’s candidacy while reading out the president\’s letter to the parliament.
Despite the calls by Western powers and opposition for his ouster, Assad defiantly submitted his application for the upcoming presidential race as expected.
Meanwhile, Assad was cited by the state-run television as urging his supporters to avoid firing gunshots as an expression of happiness in such occasion.
Government officials have repeatedly stressed that Assad would run for the elections, saying he has high chance of winning another term in office due to the "popular support."
Moreover, officials said President Bashar al-Assad is a "real guarantee" for the future of Syria.
Aside from the president, six more candidates have so far announced their bid for the presidential vote since the registration door was opened last week.
Opposition groups inside and outside Syria have criticized the decision to hold the presidential elections amid the current civil war in the country. More than 150,000 people have been killed and one third of the population displaced in grinding clashes between government troops and armed militant groups.
The Syrian parliament unanimously nominated Assad to be president following the death of Assad\’s father, former President Hafez Assad, in 2000. Assad was re-elected without opposition in 2007 to a second term.
The 2014 voting for Syrians inside the country will start on June 3, while overseas Syrians will cast their votes on May 28.