Photograph by Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images.
Syrians are going to the polls Monday to vote in the country's first multi-party parliamentary elections in five years. Well, some of them.
As CBS News reports, opposition groups have called for a boycott, arguing that the election is meant to stabilize, not diminish, President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Over 7,000 candidates are on Monday's ballot for Syria's 250-member parliament. The legislature plays a secondary role in the rule of Syria, the Guardian explains, but the Ba'ath party's dominance in parliament has helped cement Assad's rule. Opposition groups say the candidates contesting Ba'ath party parliament seats have been sanctioned by the government and will do little to advocate for change in the country.
It's unclear whether polls will open in parts of the country where violence continues to rage in spite of a U.N.-brokered cease-fire that never really took hold. CNN notes that in the Baba Amr district of Homs, there was reportedly no sign of an election on Monday.
According to the U.N., at least 9,000 have been killed in Syria during the violence that has shaken the country for the past 13 months and counting.