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As is widely expected, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been reelected for a fourth term after officials said he won 95.1% of the vote in an election that the opposition and Western governments described as a sham.
Parliament Speaker Hammouda Al-Sabbagh said, during a press conference Thursday evening, that more than 14 million Syrians participated in the elections, making the voter turnout around 78%. The results give the 55-year-old Assad, who took power in 2000 after the death of his father, the mandate to rule Syria until 2028.
Assad’s competitor, Mahmoud Ahmed Merhi, who runs an opposition bloc approved by the government, and former deputy minister Abdullah Salloum Abdullah, had no chance. Both were relatively unknown, receiving 3.3% and 1.5%, respectively.
The Presidential race It fell into the midst of a decade-long conflict sparked by a popular revolt against the ruling Assad family. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the war that displaced more than half of Syria’s pre-war population. The United Nations has said that more than 6.6 million Syrian refugees have fled the country.
The Syrian president has succeeded in retaking much of the country with the support of Iran and Russia, but pockets of opposition still exist in northeast and northwest Syria. Polling took place only in Government-controlled areasMillions of Syrians are deprived of their rights.
Kurdish-led authorities in northeastern Syria Refuse to participate In or facilitate elections for them. Those who live in the Idlib region of northwestern Syria, which has been the target of bloody government attacks in 2019 and 2020, were also unable to vote.
The elections undermine prospects for a political solution, including the long-stalled UN-led peace process that is supposed to pave the way for a transitional governing body, a new constitution and elections under UN supervision.
Ahead of the vote, US Secretary of State Anthony A. Blinken issued a statement Joint statement Along with his counterparts in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, they described the Syrian presidential race as “fraudulent” and an attempt by the “Assad regime to restore legitimacy without ending its gross violations of human rights and meaningfully participating in the political process facilitated by the United Nations.”
Turkey, which supports the opposition seeking to topple Assad, has called for elections. “illegal“It does not represent the free will of the people.
Assad secured another seven-year term despite the economic crisis that has left some 12.4 million Syrians – nearly 60% of the population – food insecure, according to the United Nations. Amid soaring inflation, commodity prices rose dramatically and the currency’s value fell to record lows.
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