Assad ruler gets 95 percent in presidential election | free press

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The authoritarian head of state has been in power since 2000. His fourth term of office begins after the election.

Damascus (AP) – Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad has won a large majority in presidential elections in the country’s civil war, according to official information.

The 55-year-old received 95.1 percent of the vote, parliament speaker Hammudah Sabbagh announced. The authoritarian head of state has been in power since 2000. His fourth term of office begins after the election.

The two competitors had no chance in the vote last Wednesday. They were only considered candidates to count. In the election seven years ago, Assad received about 89 percent of the vote.

The government forces and their allies control about two-thirds of the land from the civil war. Only in these areas could the Syrians vote. The choice was met with sharp criticism. The opposition called it illegal and called it a “farce”. The Kurds who rule in northeastern Syria also refused to participate. Germany and other governments in the West criticized the presidential election as “neither free nor fair” and “fraudulent”.

A civil war has been raging in Syria for more than a decade, in which about 12 million people have been displaced. Many areas have been destroyed. In addition, the country is in a serious economic crisis. Millions of people suffer from hunger and poverty. Internationally, the Syrian government is largely isolated.

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