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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Syria's Assad wins 4th term with 95% of vote

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Syria's Assad wins 4th term with 95% of vote
Syria's Assad wins 4th term with 95% of vote

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a fourth term in office with 95.1% of the votes in an election which opponents and the West say was marked by fraud.

Flora Bradley-Watson reports.

Syrian state TV showed crowds gathered in the capital Damascus on Thursday, as it was confirmed President Bashar al-Assad had won a fourth term in the election.

The head of Syria's parliament announced that Assad had got more than 95 percent of the vote and that turnout was 78%.

On his election campaign page, Assad thanked Syrians for their quote, 'high sense of nationalism' and 'notable participation'.

But his opponents and the West have cried foul.

The opposition boycotted the vote and said Assad's presidential rivals were deliberately low-key.

Ahead of the election, France, Germany, Britain, and the U.S. said the vote would not be free or fair.

Protests were also staged in Syria's largest rebel enclave of Idlib, where hundreds on Wednesday denounced the vote as a charade.

Syria remains in the midst of a war that's killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven 11 million - about half the population - from their homes.

Assad's government said the election showed that Syria was functioning normally despite the decade-old conflict.

His win gives him seven more years in power and lengthens his family's rule to nearly six decades.

His biggest challenge, now that he has regained control of most of the country, will be an economy in decline.

Tightening U.S. sanctions, limited relief from allies Russia and Iran, and the global health crisis, mean prospects for recovery look poor.

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