"The two will be running against Assad in the elections."
Damascus, May 4 - Syria's supreme constitutional court has accepted the candidacy of three contenders, including incumbent President Bashar Assad, for the June 3 presidential elections.

Twenty-four people had filed for their candidacy for the presidency, Xinhua reported.

The court, tasked with overseeing the elections' process, has rejected the applications of the other 21 contenders, saying their bids have not met the constitutional and legal conditions, Amjad al-Khadra, the media spokesman of the court, made the announcement Sunday.

Still the court has left the door ajar for the discarded contenders to file petitions to the court within three days following Sunday's announcement.

Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan al-Nouri and incumbent President Bashar al-Assad have got the court's approval, al-Khadra said.

Hajjar, a Syrian parliamentarian, was the first to submit application for the presidential elections.

Hajjar was born in Aleppo in 1968, hailing from a family well-known in religious teaching.

Meanwhile, Hassan al-Nouri, 54, declared his candidacy for the June 3 elections, a day after lawmaker Maher Hajjar announced his bid for the top post.

Al-Nouri served as minister of administrative development and minister of state for parliamentary affairs from 2000 to 2002. He also served as the general secretary of the Chamber of Industry from 1997 to 2000, and was a member of the Syrian Parliament from 1998 to 2003.

The two will be running against Assad in the elections.

Assad was unanimously nominated by the Syrian parliament to be president in 2000, following the death of his father, former president Hafez Assad. He was re-elected without opposition in 2007.


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