Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Votes for Iraqis in Syria

The BBC reports that Syria will allow Iraqi citizens living in its territory to vote in the forthcoming elections, and will set up a voting centre in Damascus.

The Syrian government signed an agreement with the International Organization for Migration, which will run an out-of-country voting scheme. This will allow Iraqis to register and vote at an election centre in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Thirteen similar election centres are planned in other countries with large numbers of Iraqis.

I'm amazed that Damascus is allowing this to happen. It can only increase the pressure on Assad to allow democratic reforms. The report suggests a reason why though:

[...]Syria has been under steady criticism from the United States in recent months over its role in Iraq

If the Bush policy has been to cause a mass outbreak of democracy in the Middle East as a means of cutting out support for terrorism, then the signs look promising that he is going to be proven triumphantly correct.