President Bashar al-Assad's presidential term is due to end on 17 Jul 2014, but there is little chance that the country will have a new Syrian president on Jul 18.
He has signaled that he might run for a third term. If anyone can be persuaded to run against him for the sake of appearances, it won't be an opposition figure. A new election law passed by parliament contains language that would disqualify opposition figures. One stipulation is that candidates must have lived in Syria for the past 10 years, an automatic disqualification for his opponents. Reuters notes that even before the war started most of Syria's opposition figures lived in exile, and others left the country during the beginning of the country's civil war. Even the war, which has killed some 100,000 people and displaced millions, is unlikely to change the presidency. The Assad family has ruled Syria, where parliament is considered a tool of the regime, for more than 40 years. Assad inherited power from his father in 2000 and was confirmed in an election in which he ran unopposed. He was re-elected in 2007.
Date written/update: 2014-03-20