Assad to Seek Third Term as President

Bashar al-Assad will seek a third presidential term when Syria holds its election on June 3. Assad did not wait for an outside endorsement, taking matters into his own hands with a letter read by Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Laham. "I... Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad... wish to nominate myself for the post of president of the republic." The election is largely seen as a sham of democracy by Assad's Western and Arab critics, who believe it is a corrupt way to extend his family's four decades in power. The announcement also comes a day after Assad's regime missed its second deadline for surrendering chemical weapons.