The last election was won by the incumbent Bashar al-Assad with almost 89 percent of the vote. This time, too, a clear majority is expected. The opposition speaks of a “farce”.
Damascus (AP) – In Syria, a country with a civil war, the presidential elections started on Wednesday. A clear majority is expected for the incumbent Bashar al-Assad, who has been in power since 2000.
His government controls about two thirds of the country. Only in these areas can voters participate in the vote. The 55-year-old’s two competitors are considered candidates to count with no real chance.
Government critics see the vote as a “farce”. The Kurds ruling Northeast Syria also refuse to participate. An election result is not expected this Wednesday. According to official figures, Assad won the election seven years ago with almost 89 percent of the vote. In total, more than 18 million people can vote.
Syria’s authoritarian leaders had spent the past few days trying to get many voters to the polls with a campaign on the streets and in the media. State television showed long lines of polling stations that morning. Civil war has been raging in the country for over a decade. In addition, Syria is in a serious economic crisis. Millions of people suffer from hunger and poverty.
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