SANA, the Syrian state news agency, reports:
“Syrian citizens continue to flock to the polling centers distributed in all Syrian provinces to give their opinion on the new draft constitution of Syria, as the polling centers witnessed increasing turnout which reflect the citizens’ keenness on moving forward the reform process.
Minister of Interior Mohammed al-Shaar on Sunday said that the polling process on the new draft constitution runs normally in the most of provinces, adding that the polling centers witness huge turnout of the citizens except in some areas.”
**The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is the national official news agency in Syria. It was established in 1965. It is linked to the Ministry of Information and has its headquarters in Damascus.**
President al-Assad said: “However, comparisons always come up in which the Syrian media, which is mainly the official media, is being compared to the non-official media in other countries,” and dismissed that comparison as “inaccurate, non-objective and not possible.”
President al-Assad said official media should be compared to official media in other countries since the goals and tasks of official media are different from those of private media.
“If we compare the Syrian official media now to its counterparts in the region, I believe it is the best,” the President stressed, adding that “nonetheless, we are not interested in comparing ourselves to those who are less, and we will keep comparing ourselves to those who are better.”
President al-Assad emphasized that the attack Syria is facing is a media attack. “However,” the President continued, “media, notwithstanding its importance, doesn’t outdo the reality. They may be stronger in space, but we are stronger on the ground. Still, we want to win on the ground and in the space.”
The referendum on the new draft constitution for the Syria Arab Republic started on Sunday morning at seven a.m. in the centers distributed in all provinces, border centers, airports and Badia.
The total number of referendum centers amounted to 14185.
Mobile centers were also available in the desert for the Bedouins who cannot come to referendum centers. The referendum will be held according to voting tables distributed to all centers in order to match the voters’ names as to avoid double voting.
The citizen can vote with his/ her identity card or what can substitute it such as the election card, valid passport, driving license, syndicate card or the university card.
Instructions were distributed in each center in all provinces so the citizen get acquainted with the steps they should know to vote.
The referendum operation continued until 07:00 p.m. local time and, in case the head of any center found high turnout, he/she has the authority to extend the time of voting until 10:00 p.m. only, then the center is to be closed.
Reporting by H. Zain and Ghossoun for SANA