PHOTO: Who would win real elections in Syria’s besieged towns?

On Wednesday, the Assad regime staged Parliamentary elections, hoping to give the impression of legitimacy amid political talks about a resolution of Syria’s five-year crisis. Videos and photographs were arranged to show lines of voters. A regime official was converted into a “local candidate” to declare that even opposition-held areas were eagerly joining the ballot.

See Syria Feature: The Assad Regime’s Election Propaganda Fail

But not everyone joined in. Instead, teenagers in the besieged town of Madaya — where scores have died from starvation and lack of medical care amid a nine-month siege by the Syrian military and Hezbollah — held their own “election”.

They passed up the chance to support the regime’s candidates. Instead, they opted for “Deadly Starvation”, “Deadly Illness”, and “Airstrikes”.

One of the participants, explains, “We are trying to respond to the theatrics of the regime in the capital.