US calls on Syria to end election restrictions

The US State Department called on Syria Monday to end restrictions on the candidate pool for elections and threats of reprisal to discourage political dissent. Spokesman Sean McCormack made the comment as Syrians voted to choose a new legislature. President Bashar al-Assad "is again denying the right of the Syrian people to an open, transparent and fully participatory political environment," McCormack said. He said the Syrian people deserve democratically-elected representatives who are willing to "fight corruption, provide greater economic opportunities, and encourage real political participation by the next generation of leaders."