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Assad Again Elected President of Syria
Jun 06, 2014

Bashar al-Assad won 88.7 percent of the vote in Syria's Presidential Election. With this much-expected victory, Assad secured a third term in office despite a raging civil war which grew out of protests against his rule.

Assad's opponents have ridiculed the election, saying the two relatively unknown and state-approved challengers offered no real alternative to Assad. Former minister Hassan al-Nouri got 4.3 percent of the vote while parliamentarian Maher Hajjar secured 3.2 percent, fewer than the number of spoilt ballots.

Tens of thousands of Syrians had voted in government-controlled cities and towns on June 3 to give Assad a new seven-year mandate.

A victory for Assad is likely to bolster his base of support at home and provide further evidence that he has no intention of relinquishing power, making a protracted conflict the likely outcome in fighting that has already lasted three years.

Voting took place only in government-controlled areas, excluding much of northern and eastern Syria. Tens of thousands of Syrians abroad voted last week, although many of the more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees across the region either abstained or were excluded by law.

There were ostentatious shows of support for the 48-year-old Assad, who has ruled Syria since 2000, when he took over after the death of his father, Hafez. There were 15.8 million eligible voters, both inside and outside Syria, and that 9,600 voting centers were set up around the country.


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