The Syrian people were due to vote in a national referendum on Wednesday (8 February), to confirm the nomination of President Hafez Al-Assad for a further seven-year period of office.
CU ZOOM OUT TO GV: Girls in uniform carrying placard at head of march through Damascus.
GV: Children carrying flags.
SV & GV: Children band followed by flagwaving youngsters carrying portrait of Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and chanting his name. (4 shots)
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Background: The Syrian people were due to vote in a national referendum on Wednesday (8 February), to confirm the nomination of President Hafez Al-Assad for a further seven-year period of office. The President was unanimously re-nominated by the Syrian People's Council on 22 January, subject to the Syrian people approving this in the referendum.
SYNOPSIS: Since the referendum was announced, street marches and support rallies have been held daily in Damascus with marchers of all ages booming out their support for President Assad. The 49-year-old President seized power in November 1970.
This rally in the Syrian capital featured hundreds of posters with the slogan "Yes for President Al-Assad". While the people were showing their support, the President himself was making arrangements for a visit to the Soviet Union later this month. Since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat began his peace moves with Israel, the Syrian leader has been going all-out to bolster his country's defence, in what he has described as the essential task of achieving a strategic balance between Syria and Israel. He was a leading figure at last week's 'rejectionist front' meeting in Algiers of Arab countries and organisation opposed to the Sadat policies.