May 7 - Amateur video shows Syrians protesting against parliamentary elections, with some cities falling silent and others mocking the election. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Election day in Syria. Amateur video shows a fake voting station with citizens mocking the nationwide parliamentary elections -- casting votes for people who have been killed in the Syrian uprising. In Hama -- video which could not be independently verified by Reuters shows closed shops said to be on strike in protest against the poll. Footage purportedly out of Amouda shows another fake ballot box with more names of those who have died in the revolt. Signs say 'Your vote is your dignity, don't waste your dignity'' More signs of a boycott in the quiet streets of Idlib. Syrians authorities view the parliamentary elections as a milestone of political reform. The opposition has dismissed the vote as a facade. And yet the demonstrations goes on. Violence has continued in Syria since a UN backed ceasefire was declared in mid-April. Unlike autocratic leaders who were toppled by the Arab Spring, President Bashar al Assad has kept enough support among the military to withstand the 14-month-old revolt. The United Nations estimates that more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began last March. The government blames the violence eon foreign backed insurgent groups. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.