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Sofyan Aswad: ”After every meeting with a candidate my eyes filled with tears”

Foto:Sofyan Aswad

Your vote in the election is important. Don’t waste it, give it to the party that most deserves it. Without your vote, you are powerless. I know that from my own experience.

Now, with the Swedish election fast approaching, I remember the parliamentary election in Syria in 2012, and how I prepared myself, as a journalist, to report on it. I also wanted to go and vote, be active and influence. But it didn’t take long until the election result was announced, who would win.

In Syria elections are not free as they are here in Sweden. Nobody in the Middle East can take the election seriously, simply because everyone knows in advance that the election is rigged.

I’ll never forget the telephone call I got from one of my friends who works as an officer for the Syrian intelligence service. He talked with me about the successful candidates in the election who would continue in politics, exactly twelve days before the election took place.

After the telephone conversation with my friend one thing was very clear – my vote and the votes of my family were worthless.The Syrian government had already decided who would win the election.

That I got to know the result before the election took place was a huge catastrophe for me. I was working as a TV reporter and did lots of interviews with the candidates. They told me what they would do if they were elected. After every meeting with a candidate my eyes filled with tears. I knew very well that my efforts and my work were useless. Just like “my vote”.

But as a journalist here in Sweden I can say that the law and the Swedish government guarantee freedom of choice and voting takes place openly. It is a very good thing that the state is anxious to see to it that all the citizens who are entitled to vote take part in the election and are for political freedom.

So use your vote to vote for politicians who can represent you, for politicians who match your dreams of freedom, equality and social justice.

If you do not do your duty towards our new country, Sweden, by going to vote on 9th September, you have no right to criticise or protest against the Swedish government. Even if it makes decisions that are not in your favour.

Sofyan Aswad