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Syria to hold presidential election on June 3

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This Monday, April 14, 2014 photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian army soldiers sitting on their tank while on patrol in Maaloula village, northeast of the capital Damascus, Syria. Syrian government troops seized two villages, one of them an ancient Christian hamlet, north of Damascus on Monday, as part of the military’s relentless offensive along the rugged frontier with Lebanon, state media and activists said. (AP Photo/SANA)

This Monday, April 14, 2014 photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian army soldiers sitting on their tank while on patrol in Maaloula village, northeast of the capital Damascus, Syria. Syrian government troops seized two villages, one of them an ancient Christian hamlet, north of Damascus on Monday, as part of the military’s relentless offensive along the rugged frontier with Lebanon, state media and activists said. (AP Photo/SANA)

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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria’s parliament speaker says the country will hold presidential elections on June 3.

Monday’s announcement by the speaker, Mohammed Lahham, came just hours after a pair of mortars exploded near the parliament building in central Damascus, killing five people.

President Bashar Assad is likely to seek another seven-year term in office despite an uprising against his rule that is now in its fourth year.

The country’s conflict has killed over 150,000 people and forced one-third of the country’s population from their homes.

Lahham says candidates seeking to run for president can start registering their candidacy from April 22.

Associated Press

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