(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) A senior government official said on Monday that France was authorised by international law to block Syrian absentee voting on French soil ahead of the early June presidential election being organised by Damascus.
"The organisation of foreign elections on French territory depends on the Vienna Convention on Consular relations dating from 25 April 1963," Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in response to questions at a briefing.
France already has said that the organisation of elections in Syria is "an absurdity" because of the conflict there and the inability to hold a democratic ballot. Paris has also derided a decision by President Bashar Al-Assad to run for another seven-year term.
"As authorised by this (Vienna) convention, French authorities can oppose the holding of this ballot on French territory," Nadal added, implicitly confirming Syrian accusations that Paris would not facilitate an absentee ballot in France.
Such ballots are normally held in consular or embassy buildings but France has withdrawn diplomatic recognition for the Syrian government envoy here and instead recognised the Syrian National Council representative from the "moderate" opposition.
Nadal reiterated that France wanted to see a political solution and the "establishment of a transitional body, given full executive powers" in line with the first Geneva in mid-2012.
This is what is needed "to put an end to the blood-bath," in Syria, where "Bashar Al-Assad, who is responsible for 150,000 deaths, cannot represent the future of the Syrian people," the French official said.