Bashar Al-Assad
Bashar Al-AssadReuters

Syria’s higher constitutional court on Monday selected two obscure figures to appear on ballots standing against President Bashar Al-Assad in a May 26 election, Reuters reports.

From a list of 51 potential candidates, the court approved just three: Assad, former deputy cabinet minister Abdallah Saloum Abdallah, and Mahmoud Ahmed Marei, head of a small, officially sanctioned opposition party.

The election is widely expected to give President Bashar Al-Assad a fourth seven-year term.

Assad’s Baath party and its allies won a majority in parliamentary elections held across government-held areas of Syria in July, taking 177 seats out of 250.

Unsurprisingly, during the last polls in 2016, Assad’s ruling Baath party and its allies won a majority of the chamber's 250 seats.

The Baath party has governed Syria with an iron fist for the past half-century. In 2012, however, Damascus for the first time allowed candidates from outside the party to run in legislative elections.

A presidential election was held in 2014 and won by Assad, though there were two other candidates who ran against him then as well.

Top UN officials said this month said the vote in Syria would not fulfil Security Council resolutions which call for a political process to end Syria’s conflict, a new constitution, and free elections administered under UN supervision.