Dissident former MP Ma'moun Homsi, who fled Syria earlier this year, called on Syrians Friday to boycott this weekend's parliamentary elections, which he dubbed illegitimate. (Middle East Times, 4/20/07).
Homsi said in a statement, "the security services are leading the elections, fielding whichever candidates they want, and excluding those they do not want using various means. ... Where is freedom when jails are growing and are filled with intellectuals and politicians and lawyers who were thrown there for no other crime than expressing their views. ... I add my voice to that of my brothers in the opposition, and call upon [Syrians] not to participate in these elections in order to prove to the world that they are illegitimate, and merely preparing for illegitimate presidential elections. They are unconstitutional and don't abide by international standards or the ambitions and right of the people to choose its leaders." (Arabic. AFP, UPI, via al-Mustaqbal, 4/21/07).
Homsi added, "as for the oversight role of Parliament, this regime has torpedoed this right when it threw two independent MPs from Damascus [Homsi and Riad Seif] in jail for five years. This incident became a lesson to all MPs and to anyone who tries to criticize the regime."
Homsi was jailed for five years for seeking to "illegally change the constitution" and was eventually released January 18 this year with four other dissidents.
He left Syria following the detention of another fellow dissident - Michel Kilo.