German Village Elects 29-Year-Old Refugee From Syria As Mayor

A German village has elected a Syrian refugee as its new mayor with an absolute majority of 55.41per cent of the votes.

The municipality announced the winner on Sunday evening.

Ryyan Alshebl, 29, who fled Syria in 2015, stood as a non-party candidate to become mayor of Ostelsheim in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Alshebl, a member of the Green Party describes his experiences in the election campaign as “mostly positive”.

At the age of 21, Alshebl fled his home town of Sweida in the south of Syria. He has now been working in the administration of the nearby Althengstett town hall for seven years.

As mayor, Alshebl said he planned to move to Ostelsheim in the district of Calw.

Alshebl is probably the first Syrian mayor in the southwest of Germany. According to the Association of Municipalities of Baden-Württemberg, there has been no other candidate with Syrian roots for a mayor’s office so far.

In the election, Alshebl prevailed against the non-party candidates Marco Strauß and Mathias Fey.

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