Syria’s Assad wins presidential vote in landslide

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Syrian officials announced on Wednesday that President Bashar Assad has been re-elected in a landslide, capturing another seven-year term.

Syria’s parliament speaker, Jihad Laham, announced the final results from Tuesday’s election, saying Assad garnered 10,319,723 votes, representing almost 89 percent of the total votes.

“I declare the victory of Dr Bashar Hafez al-Assad as president of the Syrian Arab Republic with an absolute majority … ” Laham said in a televised address from the Syrian parliament.

Laham said Assad’s two challengers, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, won 4.3 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. The Supreme Constitutional Court put turnout at 73.42 percent.

Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Faysal Mokdad stressed that the presidential elections sent “a harsh blow to all those who doubted the capability of the Syrian people to face the terrorist attack waged against Syria for over three years.”

In an interview with the Lebanese pro-Syrian al-Mayadeen television, Mokdad said these elections “are legitimate because they reflect the respect of the Syrian Arab Republic towards its constitution and legal commitments, and they are much better than the western countries’ elections which are based on propaganda and money from the Persian Gulf (Arab) states.”

Shortly after the election results were announced, streets in the capital Damascus were filled with joyful crowds chanting “God bless Bashar,” while fireworks filled the skies.

Syrian television aired live pictures of people gathering in the al Ummayad square carrying pictures of al-Assad and dancing.

“The will of the Syrian people has won in Syria,” chanted a follower of Al-Assad.

By choosing Assad, Syrians voted “for a leader who faces the war for the iconic leader Bashar al-Assad who has stayed at the side of his people in all corners of the homeland,” the ruling Baath party, to whom al-Assad belong, said Tuesday in a statement.

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